It is encouraging to read about the outrage provoked by the announcement of the Guthrie's Theater's 50th season ("Guthrie lineup starts diversity debate," April 19).

Many are rightfully incensed that the Guthrie is displaying such a lack of leadership in ignoring the creative voices of women and artists of color in its choice of plays and directors. But then bringing women and minorities into positions of leadership has not been a highlight of Joe Dowling's tenure.

Selling tickets? Yes.

Targeting his choices at a very broad audience? Yes.

Lowering standards? Yes.

Originally, this theater led the way in the provocative staging of classics; in stepping ahead of other regional theaters in uncovering and producing new, disparate voices, and in running challenging ideas across the stage.

This is our Guthrie. When it strays as far as it has from its original mission and high quality, it should be taken to task.

The best thing this anniversary could create is a groundswell of support for bringing it back to the prominent institution it was and is capable of being again.