In response to a petition calling out White American Theatre, I tweeted a bit about how virtually every problem of racism in American theatre starts in high school. We learn about playwrights first from our high school productions and literature classes, after all, so it’s unsurprising that our understanding of ‘Great Theatre’ starts with Shakespeare and Arthur Miller, which reproduces white centrism in American theatre.
Because it’s a song I’ve sung many times before, I didn’t elaborate, and I certainly didn’t offer any solutions. As a mixed-Latino playwright who reads as white, I have Big Feeling and Thoughts, sure, but I want to take up less oxygen right now, and my identity is less specifically useful than when I was asking theatre-for-teen folks to be inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. Right now, I feel like all I can do is say, 1) Hey, theatre-for-teen folks, how can we make our practices less racist? and 2) Hey, Theatreworld, theatre-for-teens is a big deal, deserving of the same responsibilities (and respect and attention) as the LORT crowd.
Anyway, I haven’t updated in a while. The world has turned upside down. Obviously, we could not produce Spin the Lonely World in a traditional way, and I have a student editing the virtual version we filmed. I’ll update a bit more soon.