LOS ANGELES: LA STAGE Alliance will relaunch its arts journalism program on June 1, 2015, it was announced today. Funding for the program has been provided by Bill Bordy, founder of the former Los Angeles theatrical publication Drama-Logue, in honor of three late members of the L.A. theatre community: Lee Melville, Polly Warfield, and Lars Hansen.
“No one loved theatre more than Lee Melville and Polly Warfield,” said Bill Bordy in a statement. “They attended productions almost every night. And of course, they reviewed most of the shows for Drama-Logue. Both were beloved by the staff and the L.A. theatre community. And Lars Hansen assisted us greatly each year with the [Drama-Logue] Award ceremonies. To honor the memory of these three individuals, I’ve decided to help LA Stage Alliance with a gift to revive their publication.”
Melville was the editor-in-chief of Drama-Logue and would later become the editor of LA Stage Alliance’s publication LA STAGE magazine (and its subsequent digital incarnation LA STAGE Times). Warfield worked alongside Melville at Drama-Logue as its theatre editor, and later for Back Stage West after the latter publication merged with Drama-Logue. Hansen, then managing director of the Pasadena Playhouse, assisted Drama-Logue in finding a permanent home for its annual award ceremony. Hansen later became the executive director of LA Stage Alliance, and later spearheaded the creation of LA STAGE magazine with Melville at its helm.
“As a young actor in Los Angeles, the first advice I was given was to get a copy of Drama-Logue and read every word,” said Brian Kite, chair of the LA Stage Alliance board of governors. “Bill Bordy is a giant in the L.A. arts journalism landscape, and I am thrilled and touched that he continues to support our endeavors. The hiatus of LA Stage’s arts journalism platform was painful and left a rupture in our community. Artists and audiences need to be able to connect, share, and create together.”
The publication will be digital only, and will draw attention to a variety of performing arts in the region, including theatre, dance and music. There will be a special focus on the diversity and innovation of L.A.-based artists, placing the performing arts within a broader cultural arts landscape.
Sasha Anawalt, director of the arts journalism masters program at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, said in a statement: “I think of Lee Melville as someone who cared deeply and passionately about the theatre. Like John Lahr, his writing was stronger because his soul was on the side of those onstage. What an amazing tribute to bring back the LA Stage Alliance journalism program in Lee’s honor…LA Stage Alliance is also on the side of the artists and we’ve missed its coverage. Los Angeles will be better for it.”
LA Stage Alliance CEO Terence McFarland said, “I couldn’t be more thrilled by Bill Bordy’s generosity, and I’m particularly touched that his gift comes as a tribute to the legacies of Lee Melville, Polly Warfield and Lars Hansen. The journalism program is near and dear to my heart, and I’m excited to bring it out of hiatus with five years of operational support from Mr. Bordy.” McFarland added, “I hope we can continue to make the community proud with our renewed commitment to highlighting the rich and robust creativity happening on the stages in our region.”
The publication will be accepting pitches and applications for new contributors in the upcoming months. For the latest updates, visit www.lastagealliance.com.