Magazine article American Theatre

Alien Abductions. (Letters to the Editor)

Magazine article American Theatre

Alien Abductions. (Letters to the Editor)

Article excerpt

A longtime member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, I read Pamela Berlin's "International Inequities" (Nov. '02) with a sinking heart. I see flashing before my eyes the same intolerance and militancy that have featured in many Actors' Equity Association stands regarding "alien" (read English) artists working, or preferably not working, in the U.S.

I have produced and directed in the United Kingdom and Europe over the past 10 years and brought the work of many "alien" artists to the U.K. I can make a blanket statement that never has British Equity, nor the Home Office (read INS), made this difficult or set up any obstacles. I have directed a star tour in the U.K. and productions at the Barbican Centre, Bristol Old Vic and Birmingham Rep as well as touring productions. I have produced Nixon's Nixon in the West End with Charles Towers, a very fine (though not a "star") U.S. director-- and have never had any flack in this regard from British Equity. I have also worked on projects in the U.K. with Nigerian, South African and Australian directors, and have never had any difficulty in getting visas for those directors.

Hiring a director is a matter of artistic choice, not one for union interference of any kind. Ms. Berlin states, on behalf of SSDC, "It is when British theatre companies (for example Donmar Warehouse or Almeida) license and mount a new production of a play that an American director has originated and fail to hire him or her that SSDC membership finds the situation unjust. …

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