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LAByrinth Theater Announces New Artistic Director, PSA On White Supremacy, World Premiere, and More

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Aaron Roman Weiner is the new Artistic Director.

LAByrinth Theater Company, heading into its 29th season, has named Aaron Roman Weiner as its new Artistic Director. Weiner started as an intern at LAB 19 years ago, fetching coffee and printing scripts.

Weiner explains, "As I step into the role of AD, the title has changed, but my goal is essentially the same, to serve our 117 members. It is a great honor to take the reigns from my friend, John Ortiz, who is as gifted a leader as he is an actor. For most of LAB's history, the position of AD has been a position of service. I am excited to take my turn at the wheel, and also conscious of the fact that I'm only able to take on a full time job in a volunteer capacity because of the privileges I have inherited. The nature of privilege and power are on my mind daily as we work to make LAByrinth an equitable space for all."

Following a cumulative 21 years as Artistic Director of LAByrinth, John Ortiz will now turn his focus to chairing the company's Board. In the two decades he worked with Aaron, Ortiz watched him develop into an extraordinary leader, artist, producer, and human being. "Over the past two years, as a member of our Leadership Committee and then as my Associate Artistic Director, my admiration for Aaron has grown profoundly." Ortiz said. "His fierce dedication to the arts was clearly exhibited during countless conference/zoom meetings, while producing the innovative MFing Hat Plays, leading a multitude of marketing campaigns via social media, and being an instrumental force in replanting new and improved versions of several pillar programs. Aaron has a compelling vision for the theater LAB can make and a strong belief in the promising ways an artist-driven company such as LAByrinth can bring our communities together."

LAB Leadership Committee member Liza Colón-Zayas adds, "After a search and a vote by membership, I was thrilled to see Aaron easily elected as our next Artistic Director. As a member of LAB's Leadership Committee, I will continue to work closely with Aaron, as will our other committee members, Elizabeth Canavan, Alfredo Narciso, Kelley Rae O'Donnell, and Neil Tyrone Pritchard."

"In this time of collective urgency to confront racism, we at LAByrinth are passionate about supporting Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives," said LAB AD, Aaron Roman Weiner. He adds, "Like much of the country, LAB paused to take stock of our organization, to question our complicity in systems of oppression. The reflection will continue, as will our artistic response."

Part of this response is LAB's new animated short, A Brief History of White Supremacy. Writer/director and LAByrinth member Ben Snyder explains, "National discourse has come a long way in its critique of police practices and policies, but the historical context of wealth inequality has often felt absent from this conversation. It is our hope that this video and website can contribute to a better understanding of the moment we are living through by placing it within its historical context and highlighting organizations doing the work of community wealth building in Black America." The video features company members Liza Colón-Zayas, Craig 'muMs' Grant, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell G. Jones, Angela Lewis, John Ortiz, Neil Tyrone Pritchard, Elizabeth Rodriguez and David Zayas, with LAB friends John Leguizamo and Craig Scott. It was produced and designed by Ari Issler, edited and animated by Sadat Mirxa, and sound mixed by Kieran Meadows.

The PSA will stream on LAByrinth's website www.labtheater.org, as well as on a site built to accompany the PSA, www.dismantlenow.com.

LAByrinth's 29th season will also include three commissioned world premiere short plays this fall, our 21st annual Barn Series (LAB's free reading series featuring all new plays), and a member driven project to be announced. The season will culminate with our world premiere production of Bees and Honey, by Guadalís Del Carmen, produced in partnership with The Sol Project. The two-hander, an intimate portrait of a Dominican couple's love and dreams in New York City, is scheduled to open in March of 2021.


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