Black Lives Matter
Shakespeare Theatre Company is saddened and angered by the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, only the most recent of a never-ending list of names of known and unknown Black American lives lost too soon, due to pervasive, relentless racism, and unchecked police brutality.
For those protesting, STC sees and hears you. We share your passion for justice and for change, and we pray for your safety. Your dedication inspires us to do more.
On Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, STC opened the Michael R. Klein Theatre at the Lansburgh to protesters, offering water, snacks, bathrooms, WiFi, charging stations, first aid, and A/C in the collaborative spirit of #OpenYourLobby, a national movement of theatres opening their lobbies to protesters.
That same weekend, STC was approached by colleagues at Design Foundry who were collaborating with the Denver Smith Foundation to promote social change through community arts, activism, and education. Their artists transformed the plywood covering the windows at Sidney Harman Hall into a beautiful mural in support of their #CRE8CHANGE initiative–seen in the photograph above. STC is currently looking into additional opportunities to support this movement.
We stand in solidarity with those protesting for Black Lives Matter, for justice, for equality, and for civil rights. We recognize that we have not done enough to show our support before this moment. You show us that we must do better. We are listening in the hopes of learning, so that STC can do more and be better for our communities. We continue to educate ourselves, to build on our work in this moment, and to desire to become a better and more inclusive theatre.
We encourage everyone to consider the following resources when thinking about how they can participate in supporting Black Lives Matter.
Campaigns and petitions:
- Black Lives Matter: 2020 Campaign – Holds politicians and candidates accountable on issues affecting Black and underserved communities
- Color of Change: Active Petitions and Campaigns – The nation’s largest online racial justice organization, helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us
- NAACP: We Are Done Dying Campaign – NAACP’s coalition fighting against COVID-19 and police brutality
Local Initiatives and Resources:
- Black Lives Matter DC – D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter Movement
- East Of The River Mutual Aid Fund – A grassroots, community focused and led ecosystem for neighbors East of the River in Wards 7 and 8 who suffer from housing and food insecurity
- “Talking About Race” – National Museum of African American History & Culture’s web portal that provides tools and resources for talking about race and identity
- “How to Support the Black Community in DC Right Now” – Thrillist offers a helpful guide from nonprofits and community organizations to restaurants and bookstores
Opportunities to Learn More:
- “1619” – The New York Times’ podcast series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling
- “All That Glisters Is Not Gold” – An NPR discussion about Shakespeare, racism, and xenophobia with high school students and scholar Ayanna Thompson
- “Anti-racist Shakespeare” – Shakespeare’s Globe scholar Farah Karim-Cooper examines the racial meanings behind the language of light/dark and white/black used in Shakespeare’s England
Yours, in solidarity,
Simon Godwin and Chris Jennings