Renaissance Theaterworks Anti-racism statement of action
On June 1, 2020, in response to the systemic and inexcusable racial hatred and violence against Black people in our country, Renaissance Theaterworks created a Statement of Solidarity.
Today, September 15th, 2020, we have created a Statement of Action.
Because actions speak louder.
We believe who gets to tell the story matters.
And that at its best theater reflects our world back to us.
Our whole world. All colors, all abilities, all identities.
We acknowledge the legacy of racism and racial exclusion in theater.
We resolve to contribute to a just and equitable future for all.
We pledge to dismantle and disrupt systemic racism in our theater community.
Systemic change must be enacted through long-term far-reaching commitments.
This action plan is a living document to be amended as we learn and grow.
To this end here is our list of action steps.
In this spirit, Renaissance Theaterworks commits to:
- Listening more than we talk. Survey past, current and future artists and crews about their experiences with Renaissance Theaterworks.
- At least 50% of our programming by BIPOC women playwrights. Beginning in our 22/23 Season.
- Maintain and increase Board, staff and artist diversity. (Currently: Board 35% BIPOC, Staff 33% BIPOC)
- Prioritize hiring BIPOC actors and directors for all productions, not only the BIPOC plays.
- Prioritize hiring BIPOC design teams.
- Prioritize cultivating BIPOC audiences through outreach, collaborations and partnerships.
- Add a Native land acknowledgement and an Equity / Diversity / Inclusion (EDI) value to our Core Values to be read at every first rehearsal.
- Give back to BIPOC communities impacted by or represented in our plays.
- Produce BeLonging: A Zoom Theater Short Play Series featuring plays by BIPOC playwrights –proceeds will go to local anti-racism organizations. Fall 2020.
- Create a Native Land Acknowledgement Statement that will live prominently in our lobby.
- Offer free and reduced price tickets to lessen barriers to participation.
- Provide Anti-Racism training to staff and board.
- Hire culturally competent facilitators for talkbacks.
- Raise awareness for Renaissance Theaterworks’s Fran Bauer Young Critics Project (FBYCP). Since 2017 the FBYCP has highlighted and addressed the need for women and BIPOC theater critics.
We at Renaissance Theaterworks are anguished and sickened by the systemic racist hatred and violence against Black people in this country. We grieve the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black lives taken by state-sanctioned violence.
As a company, we stand in solidarity with the Black communities in Milwaukee – and the nation. Our message is: We see you. We hear you. We love you. We stand with you.
We will not stand back and remain silent.
Silence is the tool of the oppressors and one of the most powerful cornerstones of injustice. We support those speaking out. We support those taking action. We stand with all who are working for racial equality. We are against white supremacy in all its forms.
In this terrible moment please join Renaissance Theaterworks in taking action. Below is a short list of suggested resources.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
In solidarity and with love,