Letters to the editorHats off to Ms. Bridgeman!


    Last year, at a time when the Malibu Stage Company had a gap in its season due to an illness of Mr. Charles Marowitz, Jackie Bridgeman invited me to have my play “Private Jokes, Public Places” produced at the Malibu Stage Co. She hardly knew me at the time, and the play hadn’t even had a first reading, but she saw something she liked and took a chance. She also desperately wanted to put something in the theatre that would give the perception that the first full season had not fallen apart. Needless to say, with her artistic vision and tireless efforts, the play went on to enjoy a successful run, gaining critic’s choice in the Los Angeles Times, got published by Theatre Communications Group, and will be opening off-Broadway in New York this May. It is always the writers, the directors and actors who get the accolades when a show goes on, but there are a thousand menial tasks that have to take place before the lights go up. I’m talking about contacting the press, calling people to come out to the shows, designing posters and postcards, writing out 500 invitations by hand and stuffing them into envelopes, organizing fundraisers, contacting caterers, paying electric bills, phone bills, taking tickets at the door, placing ads in the paper, or even going to Ralphs in the middle of the night and putting up posters in the window-and then going back the next day to make sure the manager hasn’t ripped them down. Jackie Bridgeman does all of these things for the Malibu Stage Co., not to mention the fact that she bankrolls the productions when they run a deficit-which is virtually every production. I find it very hard to comprehend how anyone could slander Ms. Bridgeman’s character or question her devotion to the Malibu Stage Co. On these very pages, I’ve read the testimonies from an actor complaining about how Ms. Bridgeman came backstage and interrupted a rehearsal (in order to take his picture for the press). The next time, let him hire a photographer, out of his own pocket. And to the director who doesn’t like restraints on his creativity or the “unprofessional manner” in which the theatre is being run-why doesn’t he lick 500 stamps and organize his own fundraiser? I’ve heard of biting the hand that feeds you, but swallowing it, and then wanting more? Pathetic.

    Oren Safdie