September 18 to 20 at 7:30PM Starlight Square
84 Bishop Allen Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
Critique by Afrikah Smith
“The law is a weapon if you know how to use it.” – Justice Thurgood Marshall
Cambridge, MA — In light of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Thurgood reminds audiences of the obstacles BIPOC American citizens have overcome and continue to overcome every day, as we witness political events leading up to the 2020 elections.
Curious by how outdoor theatre was going to work, the thoughtful layout of Starlight Square surprised me. After checking in at will call, house staff escorted me to my seat following COVID-19 guidelines. Inside the space were socially distanced seating that met the gathering limit and made it more intimate. Although heaters are coming soon to Starlight Square, I recommend wearing warm layers. Continue reading →
BOSTON/ZOOM — Boston’s theatre journalism scene is a barren wasteland of white maleness. The desperate cries of BIPOC performing artists and designers for accurate representation are carried by winds off of the Atlantic ocean to diversity-parched cities and towns across New England: where are the critics of color?
Critiquing and reviewing circles have remained steadfastly white for the last few decades. Out of the current eleven members of the Boston Theater Critics Association, six are white men, five are white women.
The Front Porch Arts Collective launched the Young Critics Program in spring 2019 in partnership with WBUR the ARTery. It is the only independent training opportunity specifically geared towards young BIPOC journalists in New England. Boston-based director, dramaturg, educator, writer, and collaborator Pascale Florestal is the woman in charge. Continue reading →
ZOOM — Theatre created in corona-times is theatre that can be preserved for future generations. Those generations will look back on our work and express amazement at the simplicity of our tech and the universality of the human condition. Fancypants stage technology can embellish a performance, but it isn’t necessary when the foundational elements of a performance are of superior quality. Fort Point Theatre Channel’s Zoom reading of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night captures both the rigidity of Zoom’s limitations while highlighting the subtle creativity of Fort Point Theatre Channel’s artists. Continue reading →
The New England Theatre Geek believes that BIPOC Lives will continue to matter when it’s no longer popular to mass media or convenient to white people.
As the weeks go by, we will share resources as we are made aware of them to them. StageSource has a brilliant anti-racism list. Check it out HERE.
Resources for Anti-Racist Action May-June 2020 – “This list was sourced from countless activists and information sharers. We thank you. It was created to support action and organizing for white-identified folks within the artEquity alumni network, so some resources speak specifically to white folks. However, EVERYONE is welcomed to utilize and share anything that is useful to your actions and organizing.” (quoted from the document)
Front Porch Collective Black Composer Minature Challenge presented by Castle of our Skins Friday June 19 @ 12:00 PM | via Instagram Live Composer Shannon Shea will be presenting the world premiere of “Hannah Elias II” performed by Castle of our Skins Executive & Artistic Director and violaist Ashleigh Gordon on the COOS Facebook and Instagram at noon. Part of their weekly 30-second Black Composer Miniature Challenge, be sure to tune in on time…or you might miss it!
Juneteenth: A Community Celebration presented by BAMS Fest & Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Friday June 19 @ 4:00 – 7:00 PM | via Facebook Live & YouTube Join BAMS Fest for the MFA’s annual (virtual) Juneteenth celebration to honor the contributions of Black creatives, scholars, and artists to the City of Boston. We have curated two amazing artists, Debo Ray and DJ Where’s Nasty to to celebrate all things Black and joyful.
Fresh Ink Theatre — Presents a digital reading of MAIDEN VOYAGE. Written by Cayenne Douglass. Directed by Liz Fenstermaker Available online, June 8 – 14, 2020. REGISTER to view the performance In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we will be donating 50% of the proceeds from the reading through June 14th to two organizations:Violence in BostonandBlack and Pink. Thank you for joining us in supporting these organizations, and for championing new work by local writers during this time of social distancing!
Liars & Believers — Macbeth Trailer by Liars & BelieversAmid isolation, dislocation, and digital absorbtion… desire and ethic, madness and reason tear each other apart. This is Shakespeare’s classic tragedy – TODAY. Using social distance and the tools at hand, we’ve reimagined theatre in Pandemia! We’ve broken this 5-act tragedy into short weekly episodes.
Luminarium Dance — This week’s TEN4TEN performance takes viewers back to Luminarium’s 2014 feature production The Sleeprunner, which transformed the Multicultural Arts Center space into a dynamic dream world for a two-week sold-out run. Sensical to quirky, humorous to dark, come engage in a full night’s journey told through dance, with gorgeous costumes designed by Sueann Leung.
Puppet Showplace Theater — Puppet Showplace Theater is excited to announce a new grant and virtual summer residency program for Black puppeteers and artists working in the field of puppetry. Inquiries from interested applicants across the U.S. are welcome. The deadline to apply is June 27th. APPLY 5 selected artists will receive $1,000 grants to support the research and development of original puppetry projects during summer 2020. Puppet Showplace Theater will facilitate community-building among members of the grantee cohort and will create opportunities for artists to support and learn from each other while sharing works in progress. The residency will conclude with an invited virtual public sharing of the work or work-in-progress.
The New England Theatre Geek asserts that Black Lives Matter, BIPOC Lives Matter, Immigrant Lives Matter.
These lives matter now that it’s popular and convenient for white communities to pledge that they matter. These lives will continue to matter to us when it’s inconvenient and the Black Lives Matter movement is no longer popular in mainstream journalism. The New England Theatre Geek pledges to widen its activism and remain vigilant.
Racism isn’t something white people with comfortable lifestyles can solve in a few months during quarantine when we’re all at home anyway with a couple of Twitter posts and a simple website banner (that a Black person made anyway). Racism is systemic; it is aggressive; it is subverted. Deconstructing systemic racism requires equally aggressive, daily practice, and vigilance. We pledge ourselves to this daily practice.
It’s a list. It’s a start that should lead to one’s own personal research.
Most news resources – It is very popular right now for media sites to offer resources. If you find a reliable site that you trust, bookmark it, sign up for its newsletter. Read that newsletter. It’s only by making anti-racist changes a conscious, personal, daily practice that can we ever hope to eradicate racism one day.
Racism is an inherent system that affects everyone existing in society. Perpetuating racism isn’t conscious or explicit; it isn’t rational. You can’t choose to live outside of racism. You can be a “good/nice person” and be racist. Racism is a social reality for all.
White people, you will mess up. You will say and do racist things accidentally. Don’t get defensive. Messing up doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a person. Thank the person of color who corrects you (if you’re lucky enough to have a relationship with someone who will) and keep educating yourself.
Don’t ask Black people to explain race/racism to you. That’s not their job. Not even if they’re your friends/colleagues. Attend a training or workshop. Contact your HR. Read a book. Google it. Read the room.
You can have conversations about race/racism with your Black friends if your relationship is conducive to that dialogue. Ask for consent first. If you don’t know why it’s important to ask for consent, you are not ready to have this conversation with your Black friend/s.
Do have conversations with other white people about whiteness/race. Our skin has a color; it affects the world around us. We need the conversational practice.
Don’t try to be the “cool white person.” BIPOC will not see you that way.
White people love to think that racism is something that only exists in history, that it isn’t something we do now. Racism evolves as people do.
Race might not be real but racism is. It will take your entire life to deconstruct your inherent beliefs about white supremacy. Keep going.