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Civil Rights, Memoirs, and a World Premiere Playwright

A Letter From Michael Ritchie: March2017


(L-R) Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, Herbert Siguenza, "Zoot Suit" writer/director Luis Valdez, and Michael Ritchie at an event for Center Theatre Group supporters around "Zoot Suit."

Photo by Maya Meyers Photography.

This month, we’re proud to have productions at three theatres—plus a bonus live art theatrical experience—that demonstrate our commitment to diversity in every sense of the word.

After making its World premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in 1978, Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit became a major hit and the first Chicano play on Broadway. Our historic revival—its first ever in Los Angeles—is an integral part of our 50th Anniversary Season, and continues to be a vital story of our city and nation.

Over the past decade, Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home has become a classic of LGBT literature, and in 2015, it became a new classic musical, which is onstage now at the Ahmanson Theatre. Alison Bechdel may be the most groundbreaking and multidimensional lesbian character ever to appear in a major Broadway show.

With the World premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, we’re carrying on a long Center Theatre Group tradition of supporting new work and new voices. This is Anyanwu’s first professionally produced play, and it’s been a pleasure for us to help develop and nurture it.

We’re also excited to share Remote L.A., directed and produced by award-winning international documentary theatre team Rimini Protokoll. If you see groups of 50 people swarming out around Downtown Los Angeles wearing headphones…they’re actually participating in this production.

Center Theatre Group has been cultivating and building relationships with artists of all backgrounds from around the world for five decades now. We invite you to read more about it in the segment of our 50th Anniversary timeline in this issue, which highlights 1988–1997, and explore more content—including photos, video, music, and newspaper clippings—on our full digital timeline at

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