D'Jenaba (left) and Chauncey Roberts (right) in a production of Hamlet, directed by Ted Lange in the 1977-78 Season.
Beah Richards (seated left) with C. Bernard Jackson (right)
- Luis Valdez, “Inner City Center—A Crisis of Doubt”;
The Los Angeles Times, May 13, 1984
“Our association with Jackson goes back to ’71 and even before. I first met him at a national conference on multi-ethnic and multiracial support in Chicago and he was one of the few voices of clearness and reason…I was a firm supporter of the Inner City Cultural Center when I was on the California Arts council Board. I still believe in their dream.”
- C. Bernard Jackson, Out of the Ashes
"Experiment at Inner City" - Travel and Art, Oct/Nov. 1974
Beah Richards and Yaphet Kotto in MacBeth from the 1968-69 Season.
-Jeanne Joe, Flower Drum Song
“In the 30 years since Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town’ first saw the light of a stage there has been no production with casting so novel and startling…Emily…is being played by an Apache Indian, her mother by a Russian-American and her brother by a Mexican-American, her sweetheart and husband by a Japanese-American, his father by a Negro and his sister by a Chinese-American.”
“The concept is right,” said Jeanne Joe…”What’s more, multiracial casting will provide a new perspective for producers. I won’t have to wait for the next production of ‘Flower Drum Song’ before I get another chance to act.”
“The ICCC is the single arts institution in Los Angeles that
has addressed itself to some of the pressing problems that confront our society. There is no other place that uses this premise solely as its modus operandi.
It is the only one that embraces the belief that we are a multinational, multi-cultural society and that must be reflected on stage. For that reason, I honor it and will always be affiliated with it.”
“It’s a tribute to Jack’s vision that the multicultural idea has been seen, and the future is on us…He’s been a pioneer, a revolutionary force in humanizing the American arts scene…Jack was the first individual who was stressing multiculturalism, a whole new perspective on what America was becoming. Truth was on his side and he had the quiet persistence to keep on representing that."
“We are his band. His richly diverse, anarchitically outrageous marching band. And from this day forward, we will all go marching into our disparate fields--celebrating the life and brilliance of C. Bernard Jackson by the quality of our choices and the depth of our commitment to our beliefs. "
-George C. Wolfe,
“Recalling C.- Bernard Jackson's Gift”
- Special to The Los Angeles Times;
July 22, 1996
“If it weren’t for Jack’s and Inner City Cultural Center’s nurturing I might not have had a creative life in Los Angeles. Jack was practicing ‘multi-culturalism’ long before it became a word used by so-called mainstream institutions to get funding.
Inner City embraced this American-born Philippina [sic] giving her validity, while other organizers tried to deny her existence.”
- Luis Valdez,
“A Trailblazer for Diversity”;
The Los Angeles Times; March 31, 1991
- Beah Richards
Check out the impact Inner City Cultural Center made on these celebrated luminaries below.
“The characters in Elmer Rice’s original, STREET SCENE, were entirely white…It was Langston Hughes, America’s foremost black poet, who brought to Rice and Weill’s attention the fact that black people also reside on America’s streets.
A short walk through the neighborhoods surrounding the Inner City Cultural Center would reveal that in this community reside people of every description. America is a multi-racial society. In this production, the Inner City Repertory Theatre Company again reiterates its stand that the American Theatre must reflect that fact”
“Our strength is our diversity,’ exults Fred Beauford of the center’s staff. Diversity now is not just casting of drama across racial lines, or the appeal to multiracial audiences or even the tapping of talent from all of the cities communities. It is the variety of activity the center has managed to place under one roof.”
“So overall, Inner City is the only place where the non-white community can go see a play it can identify with.
- Carmen Zapata
Cast of Street Scene from the 1974-75 Season: Ester Martinez, Natividad Vacio, Mel Carter, Shelia Antoine
The cast of Tartuffe featuring Louis Gossett, Jr, Paul Winfield, Bonnie Bedelia et al from the 1967-68 Season.
George C. Wolfe front row kneeling center with the cast of "Summer Suns Tails of Night" 1977-1978
C. Bernard Jackson (pictured left), Margarita Galban (center) and Carmen Zapata (right)
Cast of Our Town: Olga James (seated to left), C. Bernard Jackson (pictured center), Jeanne Joe (right), Vincent Cobb (right)
-Leonard Gross Westways,
Out of the Ashes
Luis Valdez in Teatro Campesino (pictured right)
- Sumi Sevilla Haru, Actress