June Thomas, Slate’s culture critic and editor of the site’s LGBTQ section Outward, has shared an interesting Q&A with Jordan Roth.
Those who closely follow New York theater will immediately recognize the name. At the young age of 39, Roth, president of Jujamcyn Theaters, controls five Broadway theaters. He is also openly gay and spoke to Thomas in the immediate aftermath of Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner reveal. From the conversation:
Your mother told New York magazine [in 2010] that she took you to the theater because you were gay, and she thought theater would “ease your path.” Were you aware of what she was doing? Did it work? And do you recommend it as a parenting strategy for someone who thinks their kid is gay?
Was I aware of it at the time? Probably not. Was I aware of it in retrospect? Absolutely. Did it work? One hundred percent. Does it work now? Yeah. I think we are able to communicate a lot to each other in silence. I think a lot of people will reveal themselves today as they talk to their families or friends or people on the street about Caitlyn Jenner. And I think parents with wisdom know that you don’t have to say, “Hey, Joe, is this you?” You can just say: “Wow, look at that amazing person. How wonderful.” And that’s it. You’ve just said everything. And I think theater is an amazing way to do that. A lot of parents bring children to Kinky Boots because they want them to see that and hear that message.
Ahead of this weekend’s 69th Annual Tony Awards, Roth has some interesting thoughts on the ceremony, as well as a good answer to Thomas’s question about current and foolish myths about the Great White Way.