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Taper Snuffing

April 12, 1987

I have two comments on "The Taper at 20" (by Dan Sullivan, April 5):

As an audience member I'm constantly disappointed by the lack of artistic relevance in their choice of plays (" 'night Mother," "The Dybbuk" were exceptions). I won't pay to see propaganda. Plays can be sympathetic to the victims of discrimination and still show the larger emotional issues. We are all capable of scapegoating under the pressure of losing out.

As a playwright, I once asked the Taper to consider my play for production. It wasn't the later rejection that stung so much, but the letter accompanying it, a letter that misspelled my name five or six times and, in a fumbling, round-about way, said, "Take this play and stick it." The best theater in the United States wouldn't put their letterhead over a letter like that.


Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times Sunday May 17, 1987 Home Edition Calendar Page 99 Calendar Desk 3 inches; 97 words Type of Material: Correction
On April 12 a letter from playwright Philip Wissbeck said that after he had submitted one of his plays to the Mark Taper Forum for possible production, he received a letter of rejection that misspelled his name "five or six times" and essentially told him to "Take this play and stick it." However, Taper Artistic Director Gordon Davidson has written us to set the record straight. He tracked down Wissbeck's correspondence and sent us copies that show that Wissbeck's characterization of the Taper's rejection letter was exaggerated. Wissbeck has since apologized to the Taper, saying his letter to The Times was "too intense" and didn't accurately reflect the tone of the Taper's letter to him.

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