June 3, 2020
Community Statement of Support & Intention
As Theatre is a cultural phenomenon that demands society examine itself in the mirror. Throughout history, the arts have served as a record of, a testament to, and inspiration for what should be the collective human condition and its vast spectrum of emotions, people, and experiences. However, when what we see reflects primarily one experience rather than the vast array, we have failed to honor theatre's intended purpose and have done a disservice to all artists and audiences. We create the future every moment the lights go up. We are responsible.
Black. Lives. Matter. Full stop.
Broadly, there is extensive under-representation of people of color in the theatre—on stage, off stage, in seats, behind the scenes, and in administrative offices. We must own that. As arts organizations, we must acknowledge our own inadequacies. We must learn—and un-learn—whatever is necessary to redress the pervasive overt and covert racial inequalities that afflict our country. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is no exception.
We support our communities far and wide in the protests and share the outrage over the egregious injustices against people of color that have been—and continue to be—committed since and leading up to our nation's founding. Whether these abuses are manifested through explicit acts of violence, suspicion, and fear or are revealed in racial inequities that permeate other aspects of daily life, such as the disproportionate effects the COVID pandemic has had on the black community, a reckoning is long overdue.
We see you. We are listening. And we must do better. Words are not remotely enough, though.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is working on meaningful, substantive actions to take in supporting current anti-racism advocacy as well as to address the under-representation of people of color within our company while incorporating all voices. We will share these measures in the coming days and weeks ahead and how to be involved. For anyone who would like to participate in these conversations, we welcome you wholeheartedly. We recognize, though, this too is emotional labor and do not expect anyone else to lead this charge on our behalf. The responsibility of institutional change rests squarely upon our organization.
In the meantime, we encourage you to donate to and support organizations and efforts that champion racial equality and justice in whatever way you can and to review resources that advance this urgent conversation.ching decision to cancel the remainder of our 2019-2020 Season and to put our efforts into rebuilding a strong, meaningful season for our audiences and artists for the fall. It remains our hope, though, to share one or more of these shows someday with you if possible.
D. Lynn Meyers
Producing Artistic Director