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It is September 1998, 17 years since I first started to come to the Source Theatre’s main stage and warehouse rep through both curiosity and passion for theater. I had moved back to my hometown after having lived in France for nearly 10 years. Not only could I walk to the theater from my home in Adams Morgan, but I could be treated, enlivened, and instructed to a new piece of theater almost any night of the week, even up until midnight. It was an exciting and wonderful time for Washington theater and promising actors, directors, designers, and crews, at a time when little else existed in the city but larger venues like the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, and the National. It was theater without frills, and it was real theater that gave as much as it took, and more.
I read with some interest Mr. Raz’s article (“Gut Rehab”) dated Aug. 14. It brought me back again to those steamy early Source summer theater festivals. In those days, I saw some of the best theater I have ever seen.
Times changed in Washington and in the city’s expanding theater community. By the end of the decade, it visibly seemed as though something important was lost both within the city and within the theater community. Happily for Source, like a phoenix, it rose from the ashes renewed.
You will have to excuse me because I don’t believe that through all those years I ever read Raz’s work, and I don’t know if he was acquainted with any of the persons he mentioned in his piece. This is why I am responding to itbecause I don’t think he has a clue as to the personalities involved or what it takes to run a business. When writing an article in short form about the history of a theater like the Source, relying on the secondhand and second-rate rumor mill when making comments is dismaying. It too often happens, and it would be nice, instead of recycling this news, to get the story right.
Let me say that his focus obliterated the courage, goodwill, opportunity, hard work, and friendships that laid the groundwork in the early years of the Source Theatre Company, which experienced many early hardships and is still on its feet thanks to commitment, vision, and talent. It is one of the oldest established small theater companies in Washington, D.C. Raz’s article should have been focused on the pride of all persons involved, from the beginning to the present, in making Source a dynamic theater for the community.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.