SEASON 27 - 2020
As blasts and statements continue to fly in from everywhere, expressing solidarity and promises of doing better for the Black Community, our theatre family has been mourning, grieving and reflecting on yet another onslaught of unconscionable violence against OUR Community. Our hearts and minds are aching at the continued Injustice of Systemic Racism in America.
While we appreciate the outpouring of support and promises, we look at all of this through a different lens. A lens filtered with the knowledge that none of this is new, a lens of the firsthand experience of racism in our personal and professional lives, a lens filtered with experiences of our own creative lives full of promises made, promises broken, the lens of so many talented careers that should be thriving, but are struggling to even sustain, no matter what the age.
If you didn’t know, the Towne Street Theatre EXISTS because of these very issues that have once again become part of the collective consciousness. We ARE what is being sought to be.
After the LA uprising In 1992, the City of Los Angeles asked if the Arts Could Help Heal LA? Our response at the time was The Play's the Thing, a series of readings from writers of all ethnicities. The plays reflected what we all inherently know, that we all want and need the same basic things; love, family, freedom, liberty and JUSTICE for all, regardless of one's cultural or racial identity.
These readings showed the need for these stories to not only be read, but produced. The Towne Street Theatre was founded in 1993 and has continued to be an oasis for creativity and imagination. For 27 years we have produced, presented and created original work primarily by African American playwrights, along playwrights of varying ethnicities. In addition to productions and readings,our programming grew to include a Musical Theatre Camp for Kids, a Spoken Word series-Sum Poetry, a 10 Minute Play Festival, a Literary Series, along with many numerous opportunities for all artists. Our stages truly reflect the diversity of Los Angeles and the world.
Once again, we are in the position of being both a place in need of, and of, healing. Healing through conversation, healing though performance, healing through connecting on a human level.
There are many ways to respond to this continuing crisis of Injustice in America and the way we know how is through our art.
As images of Black Lives being abused by police flooded the media and the Black Lives Matter movement rose in 2015 and 2016, we created our political series: IN RESPONSE, a curated collection with a historical context, of short plays, monologues, poems Spoken Word and Visual Art. Our response to the #MeToo Movement in 2018/19 was IN REPSONSE YEAR OF THE WOMAN.
And now we will began working on IN RESPONSE 2020. If you are interested in becoming part of this series, please submit your monolog, your play, your scene, your thoughts to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to do our part to create a more perfect union, hard and taxing as it its, because we believe these truths to be self-evident…
Thank you to everyone for their outreach. Feel free to contact us should you wish.
We will return to our Virtual Salon programming soon.
Until next time,
Nancy Cheryll Davis Bellamy - Artistic Director