FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Lucy Pollak
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Newly drafted ‘Los Angeles Anti-Racist Theater Standards’
seek to create lasting, systemic change
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 8, 2021) — A diverse collective of L.A.-based theater artists dedicated to true equity has released “The Los Angeles Anti-Racist Theater Standards” as a way to create lasting, systemic change within L.A. theater institutions. The full set of standards, which were emailed to 130 local theater companies on Sept. 8, can be found at LATheatreStandards.com.
Inspired and influenced by the work of We See You White American Theatre, “The Standards” were created to hold L.A. theater companies of all sizes accountable by providing a list of actionable changes that must be implemented to rectify harm done and create a foundation of sustain and restorative equity.
Adherence to “The Standards” will be monitored through BLKLST, a newly formed group that will collect data and manage the public accountability process. The mission of BLKLST is to provide safety and equity for all Black, indigenous and people of color in the Los Angeles theater community by creating BIPOC-led mechanisms of accountability and by supporting other anti-racist industry related organizations and people. BLKLST will create a list of Los Angeles theater companies that includes data and commentary to which individual artists can refer in order to make informed decisions about where they wish to work.
The Standards were drafted by a majority BIPOC, majority female, intersectional, intergenerational collective, which also includes representation from the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized populations. Members of the collective include:
- A’raelle Flynn-Bolden (she/her), actress, chaos facilitator, playwright, BLKLST founding member / Black, Queer
- Armando Molina (he/him), artistic director, Company of Angels
- Carene Rose Mekertichyan (she/her), artistic associate for social justice at Independent Shakespeare Co., co-founder of Yerazad Coalition / Black Armenian woman, cishet, able-bodied
- Celia Mandela Rivera (she/her), actress, director, educator, artistic associate at Skylight Theatre, BKLST founding member / first generation Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, cishet woman, able-bodied
- Daniel Shoenman (he/him), artistic director of The Inkwell Theater
- Desirée Mee Jung (she/her), actor / Asian-American, cishet woman, able-bodied
- Graham Wetterhahn (he/him), founding artistic director of After Hours Theatre Company / White, cishet, Jewish, invisibly disabled man
- Herb Hall (he/him), actor, director, educator, member Victory Theatre Center board of directors / Caribbean-Black, military BRAT, bilingual (English/German)
- Kendall Johnson (he/him), associate artistic director of Coin & Ghost / Black man
- Michaela Bulkley (she/her), executive director of Unnamed Theatre Project / cisgendered, able-bodied, White, queer woman
- Nancy Renee (she/her), co-founder and co-producing director of Towne Street Theatre, actor-director-producer-costume designer / Black, female, 35-year theater professional
- Rachel Berney Needleman (she/her), director, producer / Jewish, White, cishet woman
- Sean Cawelti (he/they), artistic director of Rogue Artists Ensemble / White, queer
- Tiana Randall-Quant (she/her), actor, writer, certified intimacy captain, BLKLST founding member / Black, able-bodied, cis-gendered queer woman
- Zach Davidson (he/him), artistic director of Coin & Ghost / cishet male, White, able-bodied, very Jewish
- with additional insight, guidance and support from over 140 local artists, including: members of the Black, Indigenous, Latinx/e, AAPI (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indian), and White communities, with intersectionality with the LGBTQ+ community (including trans and nonbinary artists), immigrants, people with disabilities, artists of two or more races, and many, many more. We are incredibly grateful to all who helped create and shape this document.
A public conversation will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. via Zoom to address any questions and to introduce members of the collective and of BLKLST to the community. For more information and to receive a link to the conversation, go to LATheatreStandards.com.
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