The Fountain Theatre is pleased and honored to welcome award-winning journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan to its Board of Directors. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ms. Kaplan brings a longtime passion for theater and culture to the Fountain organization. She says, “I like to think that the narrative of theater, its goal of illuminating humanity in full without shying away from its most challenging aspects, informs what I do as a writer.” Plus, she’s a dog lover. What’s not to like?
Ms. Kaplan is a journalist, essayist and author who has been writing about race, politics, culture, individuality, and the confluence of all those things since 1992. She has been a weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times (the first Black person to hold the position), staff writer and columnist for the LA Weekly, and contributing writer to the New York Times opinion, Politico and HuffPost.
She is the author of two books, ‘Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista‘ (2011) and ‘I Heart Obama’ (2016). In 2001 she won the PEN USA West Award for Journalism for her essay, ‘Blue Like Me.’ Her work has been widely anthologized in essay collections, notably ‘Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood,’ which won an American Book Award in 2004. She serves on the board of Capital & Main, an investigative news website that focuses on economic inequality and injustice.
“When my friend Diana Buchhantz invited me to join the Fountain board last year,” she explains. “I was honored and thrilled. I had been looking for a way to reconnect with theater. As a journalist I chiefly write about politics, race and culture, but I’ve always been equally passionate about theater; I have an MFA in acting, and spent years writing theater reviews and features for the LA Weekly when I was a staff writer there. That experience allowed me to experience the breadth and depth of the theater scene in greater L.A., and it was a revelation. Especially at the Fountain, whose shows were uniformly excellent. “
What are her goals as a board member?
“I hope to help the Fountain continue its tradition of mounting great productions that are highly entertaining, thought-provoking and, most importantly, fearless and forward-thinking. I hope also to be a benefit to Fountain Voices and other educational programs that seek to grow and diversify theater audiences, as well as cultivate talent that doesn’t necessarily have access to the traditionally cloistered world of theater. Arts are what we urgently need in these turbulent political times, and theater is a voice that can best speak to them.”