Soul the Stax Musical rehearsal at Baltimore Center Stage. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun video)
I want to respond to Amy Bernstein’s commentary (“The gender and color gap persists in theater — in Baltimore and beyond,” Nov. 13). While I do not disagree that there is much more that theaters can and should do to offer audiences many voices, I want to call out Baltimore’s Center Stage for its mission to deliver diversity to the theater-going community for at least the past 30 years, long before it was the “thing to do.”
I have been a Baltimore Center Stage subscriber for over 25 years, and I can say that BCS has had as its mission almost from its beginning in 1963 to make diversity on stage, on the staff, and in the audience a central institutional priority. I can still remember my first introduction to August Wilson’s, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” in 1988 and being enthralled by this production and knowing that Center Stage was going to give Baltimore and Maryland theater lovers new voices both on stage and backstage.
It has diverse audiences and trustees. It has a wonderful education department that works with young students throughout Baltimore City. BCS has always been ahead of its time and willing to showcase new voices, actors, directors, playwrights and others while still maintaining the delicate balance of appealing to diverse audiences. Its seasons have had stories that spoke to many audiences who were willing to listen. This current season certainly shows its commitment to a diversity of voices.
There is always more that can be done, but Baltimore Center Stage has led the way for many years and will continue to do so. I invite anyone who wants to see both new plays and re-envisioned traditional plays, to come to Baltimore Center Stage. You may not like everything and that is good. However, if you are ready and willing, you will be transformed. There is something for everyone — no exceptions.