“Sometimes it’s the path of least resistance to develop work in New York, because the actors and talent are there.” – Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director, La Jolla Playhouse

Christopher Ashley, Ass Clown and Artistic Director, La Jolla Playhouse

Yep, according to Christopher Ass – er – sorry, Ashley, Artistic Director of the La Jolla Playhouse, there’s nothing to see here in SoCal, people, no opportunities, no talent, no actors, so move along!

But don’t lose heart, folks, because here’s the rest of his quote from American Theatre Magazine, February, 2013:

“But, I’m really committed to creating an audience in La Jolla that’s interested in developing new work.”

Thank God! But where on earth will he find these people that are interested in developing new work in the wasteland that is Southern Cal? How can we help this selfless crusader in our midst? For the love of Allah what can we do?!?

I’m still trying to track down a link to the whole article, but I have it on good source from performer Ezra Buzzington who read the article in the printed Magazine itself that this quote is authentic. I don’t think Ezra will mind me reprinting what he wrote on his Facebook wall concerning this quote:

“Thank god. A saviour for our poor, undeveloped, west-coast plebian tastes in new work has arrived. And it is called La Jolla.

I’m all for creating audiences interested in supporting new work. In fact, the majority of smaller theatres in southern California have been doing that for many, many years. And now, with the 4th year of the Hollywood Fringe barrelling down on the city, there will be even more new work to be supported by even more new audiences.

Having been involved directly with new works for the theatre my entire life, and having created the New York International Fringe Festival hand in hand with John Clancy and Aaron Beall, and having assisted in a very small way with Hollywood’s own Fringe Festival, I would embrace the opportunity to help school Mr. Ashley in his ignorance on the topic of New York’s endless stream of talent and his clear implication of Southern California’s dirth of same.. But, I’m guessing I couldn’t get a meeting.

This sort of clueless comment helps me to further understand the delusions of Lord Grantham from Downtown Abbey. And chickens in the rain.”

I believe Ezra also referred to Mr. Ass – er – sorry, Ashley, as an “ill informed ass clown” (on the BigCheap Theatre List) and bemoaning the fact this particular “ass clown” has been given a “national voice” thanks to American Theatre Magazine.

I think that’s all that needs to be said for now. Carry on.

Filed Under: colin mitchellFeaturedPonderings


Colin Mitchell About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.

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  1. Ken Allen says:

    From the NY-based perspective, obviously Mr. A hasn’t lived here in a while, or he has some extra ins no one else does. To develop in NYC is a nightmare. Space is beyond “premium,” development deals only go to long established or pet artists, and the red carpet of development is only rolled out for those who’ve been to certain schools or culled certain favors. What’s worse, is that these pieces get so OVER-developed, the audience tends to say “huh?” at the final project–though it takes YEARS for a show to open, which of course, kills the immediacy of the art from.
    As for the large talent pool, well, there’s a pool all right. The same case goes everywhere, though: the best people aren’t available because they’re working. And how do you pay people when you’re developing? Especially when so few shows ever make any sort of profit? He’s sitting on a gold mine of an opportunity here with what he has at La Jolla and with the talent in LA (talent that is excited about new work and passionate about doing it) … he seems to be throwing something controversial out into the world to garner attention.

  2. Ezra Buzzington says:

    And scene.

  3. Monica Martin says:

    Thanks Colin. I just read the pic. caption and spit coffee all over my keyboard.

  4. Matt Richter says:

    I feel so lucky to have lived and worked in a city with so many talented, passionate people for the past 10 years. LA constantly surprises me with the caliber of people I get to work with. Beyond being insanely talented, the majority of the people I’ve had the pleasure to work with have also been downright good human beings. There is a theatre community here. Los Angeles IS a theatre town, regardless of what other regions of the country think they know about us. Or, on the more upsetting side, what some people right here in Southern California think they know about the theatre community. Too many people work too damn hard to let some some farbisener (I find Yiddish insults to be more accurate) try and dismiss it out of hand without a second thought. If New York offers so many more opportunities, perhaps Mr. Ashley should consider relocating.

  5. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    Anytime I can induce a spit take, Monica, I know my work is done.

  6. Michael Seel says: