On Thursday, July 16, seven gender various artists and leaders in our theatre group gathered for a Roundtable to speak concerning the limitations that Black ladies, femmes, and nonbinary folx face in our group, guided by JR Nexus Russ. Watch the total dialogue on the DCTS Fb web page.
These conversations will not be new. Whiteness and White Supremacy in Theatre is traumatizing.
“If we speak about all of the methods theatre has traumatized us, all of the microaggressions, all of what generally appears like demise from a thousand paper cuts, we’d be right here all 12 months. We’d be right here a decade.” ~ Paige Hernandez (She/her), multidisciplinary artist, administrator, hip-hop lover, and the newly named Affiliate Inventive Director at Everyman Theatre
“I’ve had so many conversations about whiteness in theatre and the way pervasive it’s, and the way typically I’ve needed to make myself small.” ~ Nicole Ruthmarie (She/her), Actor, dog-walker, activist, author.
“My first response to this concern is that it’s not my concern to repair, as a result of it’s not a difficulty that I made. Systematic Oppression of black individuals was not made by black individuals, so why ought to we be those to repair it?” ~ Temídayo Amay (They/Them), Efficiency Artist, Producer, Director, Filmmaker (If it’s artwork they’ve most likely tried it).
“What can we do to vary it? Not leaving it as much as us to start out these conversations.” ~ Billie Krishawn (she/her), Pre-Quarantine?: A Full Time Actor, Since Covid?: Group Care Activist.
An hour actually was not sufficient time to even start to scratch the floor, however these panelists, beneficiant with their time and spirit, dove onerous into the problems. They recognized and unpacked a lot of the harm and ache that our gender various black colleagues face within the arts, and did so with a care and thoughtfulness that’s typically neglected by their friends as a result of automated labels that get assigned to them (in itself its personal form of ache).
“Each time I’ve been in a manufacturing, you’re labeled as an issue since you had the nerve to talk up for your self. It’s this insidious feeling that you just’re presupposed to be grateful since you had been invited to the desk.” ~ Boneza Valdez Hanchock (She/Her). Actor, Podcaster, Author, and making an attempt to remain sane.
“If I needed to summarize the way in which through which I’ve been harm as a black lady in theatre, is the notion that I’ve an limitless endurance for ache. We’re perceived as having the ability to take every little thing.” ~Farah Lawal Harris (She/Her). Inventive Director of Younger Playwright’s Theatre, third Era of the Welders, Playwright, Actor, Mother, Plant Fanatic, a Daughter, a sister, a buddy.
I urge you to look at the video, linked right here. It’s so a lot reality packed right into a single hour, which must be seared into the minds of theatremakers, artists, audiences, and donors. We have a look at the previous few months as a time of transformation, however I’m telling you that we’ve got solely begun to reach on the beginning gates, and there’s a lot work to be performed.
“I would like y’all to determine it out for yourselves, so that you could present up for me. As a result of if you present up for me, you present up for your self as nicely.” ~ Temídayo Amay
So now you’re on the beginning gates, dealing with what appears to be like just like the insurmountable overhaul required to make our theatre group a extra simply, a extra equitable, and a extra protected surroundings.
“The options that we want now, the place the world is asking us to go as people? The place it’s asking us to go as a theatre group? The place it’s asking theatre individuals to go? It’s past the imaginations of white individuals. These options is not going to be discovered within the imaginations of white individuals and everyone knows why.” ~ Girl Dane Figueroa Edidi (She/Her), Efficiency Artist, Playwright, Advocate, Priestess, Healer, Artist Writer, Goddess.
“For DC Theatre particularly, for inventive management, and likewise artists: I’d love for Racism, Transphobia, Ableism and all the opposite isms that have an effect on people who find themselves traditionally oppressed to be handled with the identical degree of seriousness as sexual harassment.” ~ Farah Lawal Harris
“We additionally must be speaking concerning the shadow work; the work that’s in you, that has come out of your bloodline. What we’re persevering with to ask you to do is go inside your self and break it! Break the bond that continues to hang-out you in that manner as a result of it’s haunting. It’s oppressing you. It’s killing you from the within out. Heal your self, na? As a result of I’m not about to try to heal myself after which go into the rehearsal room and need to heal you too.” ~ Temídayo Amay
Start by listening to those phrases. Sit in your discomfort. Problem your self. Then open your eyes and get to work.
Many of those artists are accepting donations, presents, and reparations. Methods to contact them and help them are listed beneath.
Nicole Ruthmarie (She/Her)
Temídayo Amay (They/Them)
Electronic mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
CashApp: @momoaki (Black Life Sanctuary)
Billie Krishawn (She/Her)
I would like funds for my activism work, visible artwork and housing:
Money app $Huggingishealing
Paypal/Venmo @BillieKrishawn (
Boneza Valdez Hanchock (She/Her)
Fb: Boneza Valdez Hanchock,
Farah Lawal Harris (She/Her)
Girl Dane Figueroa Edidi (She/Her)
[Editor’s note: These artists have asked you to listen. They have asked you to take in their insights and do personal work. Now we ask that you be part of creating change by sharing this article with your personal and professional networks.]