TREY GRAHAM’S REVIEW of Spectrum Theater Company’s production of Streamers (Theater, 1/26) was both accurate and deserving, given the night on which he reviewed it. Lucky for us, however, other critics saw different performances that were wonderful, and their reviews reflect such. We struck out with Washington City Paper, but we deserved it.
I must, however, take issue with a misrepresentation of my views on Washington theater. Granted, the misrepresentation is my fault. I naively permitted our new publicist to create quotes to express my views in the interest of generating a timely press release, an unfortunately common practice in many businesses. I never thought its content, however, would have people see me as being either ridiculous or pompous. I do embrace criticism, but only in response to my accurate beliefs rather than those created by a well-meaning publicist, whose first efforts I still applaud for getting anyone to review a new theater’s first production.
Truth be known, Spectrum was not created to inform Washington audiences that there’s more out there than Thornton Wilder and Neil Simon. It was created because, like many other Washingtonians of color, I do not believe that there is a successful theater company in Washington that truly represents the city’s diverse demographics on a consistent basis. What I would say is, “Audiences need to see a more consistent effort to produce theater that is about all of us and not just the usual potpourri of plays that are wonderful, yet mostly grounded in Eurocentric experiences.”
Now, if Graham wants to call that ridiculous, I have no problem with that, because this accurately reflects what I believe. But again, based on what was presented to him, I wholly agree with his perspective and applaud him for responding to our press release and production honestly.
Artistic and Managing Director
Spectrum Theater Company