Between 1978 and 1988, the EWP proved its versatility through its wide range of productions. The general audiences' increasing interest in ethnic musical theatre in the late 1970s and 1980s influenced the growth of the EWP as an important ethnic theatre company in the United States. During this decade, mainstream theatres presented many productions that initiated in Latino American and African American theatres. EI Teatro Campesino's successful production of Zoot Suit at the Mark Taper Forum (1978) and its subsequent Broadway production in 1979, followed by its filming by Universal Studios in 1980, signal the beginning of this general interest in ethnic theatre.