Accentuate the positive

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I write you today with a sincere request that you and your writers give due consideration to the damage that your paper can potentially do to the much needed charitable reputation of a non-profit organization within the community when you print an article that includes false statements and sensationalizes a filing of a small claims action against such an organization, as was done with the Malibu Stage Company article in your paper of last week.

The Malibu Stage Company is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation that depends on donations from the community to stay in business. It is made up of an all-volunteer board that generously gives of their valuable time for zero pay or compensation whatsoever. These same board members even pay to attend the plays and functions that Malibu Stage Company produces, as there are no freebies, and they gladly support the cause when they can. We are a 99 seat theater that uses an equity waiver agreement with the Actor’s Equity Association that calls for our actors receiving what amounts to not even gas money for all the time they spend rehearsing and performing. All this is done to benefit the community and offer an art form of classical entertainment, in the hope of bringing a cultural element and some benefit to our community.

Although I’m glad to see that you’re willing to put Malibu Stage Company on the front pages of your paper, there exists far better “news” concerning Malibu Stage Company for these purposes. More newsworthy may be the fact that Malibu Stage Company held a reading last Saturday night, the third in a series of five Saturday night readings, that featured Ed Asner and Peter Smith in a reading of Oren Safdie’s “Frank Barth,” that played to a packed house, and ended with a standing ovation. Coverage of such events at Malibu Stage Company by your paper would go a long way toward furthering our cause and letting the public know what’s really happening at Malibu Stage Company, and perhaps add more validity to the reporting of your articles. After all, isn’t that what “news” is about?

Geoffrey Ortiz

Chairman of the Board, Malibu Stage Company