Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Heath Ledger Theatre?

The arts community of Perth, Australia is up in arms about the announcement by Premier Alan Carpenter that he will name the new performing arts center in Northbridge after Hollywood film actor Heath Ledger.

Many have attacked the decision because of the Perth-born actor’s personal life and lack of theatre work as reasons why the center should get a different name.

West Australian Academy of Performing Arts program director Andrew Lewis criticized the move, saying the WA government had engaged in a cynical marketing exercise. "People in the industry don't feel that they were consulted," he said. But he stressed that this did not detract from the fact that Ledger was a great actor.

"I certainly would love to honour Heath because I think he was an extraordinary man and a great talent, one of the best exports that we have ever had," Mr Lewis said. "And he is well known, which will hopefully bring people to the theatre."

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