An Open Letter to the Theatre Community -- and the New York Times

David Grindle


This is meant for everyone who expressed to the New York Times how important it is to recognize the FULL production team in their theatre reviews. It also goes to the folks at the Times for listening.

Cecilia Friederichs of United Scenic Artists is correct that our loud complaining when the Times removed production credits from their theatre reviews should be followed with loud thanks and celebration with their restoration.  On behalf of everyone involved with USITT, I offer again, a boisterous THANK YOU!

The work of the production team is part of the collaborative WHOLE that is a theatre production.  When it is being reviewed, the work of these people should be acknowledged.  While, yes, there are many, many more that make our shows happen each day, it is the concept of the design team that has equal part in the experience being reviewed.

The New York Times made a choice and realized that the impact of that choice was not what they expected. They listened and reversed their decision.  Not only should we celebrate that, we should all learn from it.  None of us is perfect, and we may need to reverse some of our decisions due to unforeseen consequences.  But to do so isn’t shameful, it is insightful and reflective.

To some, crediting the production team may seem a small thing. But to people whose work goes remembered while their names often do not, this acknowledgement of their important role in creating the entirety of a live theatrical experience is an important one.

I agree with Cecilia of USA Local 829: every person in our industry should take a moment to send a note of thanks to the New York Times. Production is a team effort and deserves a team acknowledgement.

To the New York Times and all media that recognize this, thank you.

Now if only the Tony Awards would recognize the same thing.

David Grindle

Executive Director


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