It is barely mid-June, and yet 2020 has proven to be a challenging year — but also a year that will likely be remembered as one that sparked a period of important societal change.
Over thousands of years of history, the theater has always reflected the times. With a tradition rooted in the summer theater, Bucks County Playhouse often found its role to offer a respite from both the heat and the turbulent world outside its doors.
The truth, however, is we can’t always just hide in the cool comfort of a dark theater. While we will always be a place that primarily serves to entertain, we know that as part of a welcoming, trail-blazing community like New Hope, we are also afforded the opportunity to participate in and be an agent for change.
We at Bucks County Playhouse stand against all forms of racism. We have been profoundly impacted by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless other victims of violence against the black community.
We have been using this time to listen and to learn and to begin to formulate actionable ways that we can combat the systemic racism in our society.
We realize that change starts at home. We encourage you to listen to the following story about one experience in our area:
This is not something that is only happening elsewhere. This is part of our community too.
We are initiating the following steps towards making the Playhouse a place of inclusiveness:
- Mandate anti-racism training for all of our employees;
- Create a task force of artists, staff and Board to explore ways we can better engage with all members of our community;
- Expand our search for new employees to ensure equal representation;
- Fundraise to create a program that would provide expenses and salaries for bringing BIPOC young people to train in onstage and off-stage roles.
- Continue the expansion of our in-school elementary and high school programs in under-served communities to teach kids about careers in the arts, and the healing powers of the theatre.
This is a beginning. We have a lot of learning and work to do and we are committed to be a part of the solution. We invite you, and all those within our reach, to join us in this journey, as we know this is not something we do in the comfort of the theater … alone.