How surprised we at the Mark Taper Forum were to read in the Sept. 27 Travel section's "Downtown L.A." story that the Taper was having trouble "finding plays and attracting audiences."

The Taper has just celebrated its 20th anniversary season at the Los Angeles Music Center, and it was the most successful season ever. In fact, our 1986-87 season broke house records for the highest gross income of a subscription run of a show and for the highest weekly gross.

Since we didn't raise prices from the 19th season to the 20th season, these grosses represent increased attendance. In fact, we were playing to 91 percent of capacity houses (250,767 people) compared to 86 percent capacity (224,068) in the previous year. In addition, we had a phenomenal subscription renewal rate of 88 percent.

This doesn't sound like we were having trouble attracting audiences or finding plays that were attractive to these audiences. (The schedule included two world premieres, an English-language premiere, two West Coast premieres and a repertory of Joe Orton plays.)

We're delighted that The Post has given recognition to the growth of downtown Los Angeles, but we'd appreciate it if you would set the record straight: The theater at the forefront of this revitalization is alive and well and packing them in.

Nancy Hereford Los Angeles

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