After previously reporting that Tony-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris was pulling Slave Play from the season lineup at Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum is Los Angeles due to lack of women playwrights included in the season, the Tony-nominated play will have its West Coast premiere after all.
Harris announced the news on Twitter saying, “So after 1 1/2 weeks of Zooms and phone calls w artistic staff at @CTGLA as well as my team on Slave Play, LA community members, multiple female mentors I’m excited to say that @SlavePlayBway will stay on the season for 2022.” The decision came after Center Theatre Group committed to several changes, including featuring women-identifying or non-binary playwrights in the upcoming season.
So after 1 1/2 weeks of Zooms and
phone calls w artistic staff at @CTGLA as well as my team on Slave Play, LA community members, multiple female mentors I’m excited to say that @SlavePlayBway will stay on the season for 2022.
The changes were announced in a “Letter from Center Theatre Group’s Artistic Team” posted on October 12, which reads: “As the season is shaping up, we are excited about our plan to schedule the full Taper 22/23 Season next year with entirely women-identifying or non-binary playwrights and to also have it be a BIPOC majority season. We are focusing our Douglas 22/23 season on majority women-identifying or non-binary and BIPOC playwrights. We will continue our commitment to uplifting/building gender and racial equity within our production directors and artistic teams.” Additionally, CTG’s Not a Moment, But a Movement initiative will commission six new plays by Black women-identifying or non-binary playwrights.
The letter, which can be read in full here, ends by saying, “In the spirit of this commitment to transparency, we have shared these in-the-works plans with members of our community, including Jeremy O. Harris. Jeremy has faith in the necessary measures we are taking and as a result of these conversations, Slave Play remains the opening production of our upcoming Taper season.”
Harris also shared saying “Much of this wouldn’t have happened in this way without both the bravery of my entire team to stand with the hundreds of women in our community calling for necessary, radical changes.”
Much of this wouldn’t have happened in this way without both the bravery of my entire team to stand with the hundreds of women in our community calling for necessary, radical changes.
Having an artistic staff that wasn’t defensive but ready to work also helped.
— Variety Screenwriter To Watch Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) October 13, 2021
As previously announced, Slave Play will have a limited Broadway return this winter and run at the August Wilson Theatre beginning on November 23.