To our community,
We at Theatre Woodstock are deeply saddened and overwhelmed by the racism, violence and oppression that we have witnessed in the past days and weeks.We have struggled to accept that the roots of racism, especially in Canada, are still that deep and that strong. They are, and that won’t change if we don’t change.
We recognize that we play a role in racism.
We as a company have contributed to it.
We have chosen and presented productions that draw on cultures, without including them.
We have made casting choices that are not representative and inclusive, and that are informed by long-held biases.
We have borrowed cultural tropes without due acknowledgement and involvement of the cultures we have borrowed them from.
We have chosen productions and plays that are safe and comfortable to our audiences, rather than calling out the important cultural, political and societal issues of our day.
We can’t change what has been done in the past, but we can choose to act differently as we collectively move forward.
One of our alumni shared this video with us. She did so in an email where she bravely called out some of the choices that we have made. And we thank her for that. Please watch it. It is honest, articulate, brave, challenging and expressed with love. Malindi Ayienga challenges us all to choose better and to act better. We encourage you to watch, to hear its message, and to share.
As a community and artistic organization that educates and informs, we recognize that we are leaders. That is why we have an obligation to listen and to learn. We recognize that we don’t have all the answers, and we acknowledge that we probably don’t understand all the questions.
It is our responsibility to open our hearts and minds to ways we can be better allies in our community. We do not take this responsibility lightly.
We stand with #BlackLivesMatter
We would like to invite everyone to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how we can do better.