Joyce Lee’s THE DEAN’S OFFICE… Doesn’t go to the Head of the Class

By Ernest Kearney — Joyce Lee’s The Dean’s Office, which played the Broadwater during the 2021 Hollywod Fringe, approaches a number of vital issues involving the propagation of systemic racism in the learning institutes of America. But while she approaches these issues she never successfully attacks them.

In dealing with some very complicated subjects Lee employs finger paints, rather than the fine detailing to capture the nuances which make remedying them so complicated.

bronze ribbon - Fringe Festival

Lee’s work is not without intelligence, but it is lacking in depth. This flaw is exacerbated by some of the cast, who come off as seemingly flat game pieces rather than full-bodied characters.

Sherrie Loften directs, but she too seems to suffer from a nebulous script. It feels like this work was rushed in to the Fringe before all the required re-working and re-thinking was applied.



* * *

For Updated Information on This Production Go To:

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2021

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.