The culmination of a long-overdue social upheaval, the pandemic shuttering of the arts, and the labored reluctance of our leaders to change have highlighted what simple, actionable work could be happening right now, if we all got behind it. It’s not too much to ask to make room at our artistic tables, board rooms, and technical booth for BIPOC artists to lead, but it does mean taking a hard look at the state of your artistic team.
We asked team members if we see enough equity in the Theatre By Numbers creative circle, and the frank answer is no: we need BIPOC voices and leaders in our corner, and we need to foster a publication that makes racial equity a priority both in what we publish and who we hire. One way we hope to embody this? By ditching our randomization, and “loading our dice” to ensure we’re only reviewing theater by companies committed to honoring Black voices onstage and backstage. We won’t consider shows featuring majority white casts, or shows from companies with majority white artistic teams. We’re here to keep up the hard work and uncomfortable conversations that spur more thoughtful art.
We would like to host your voice on the Theatre By Numbers site. If you would like to see and review Chicago/Chicagoland theatre once it returns, with total control of what you want to write and how you want to write, please send a writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. As we currently generate no revenue, pay is only in free theatre tickets, but if you would like the platform for your voice, we would welcome you and provide as many writing assignments as you choose to take.
If you are a theatre-maker or company whose work you think we should see, please contact Sarah at email@example.com. We roll the dice to create equality, but now we must load the dice to generate true equity. Please get in touch, and we will make sure you will be placed on the schedule.
Additionally, the Theatre By Numbers team will be making donations of $50 each to Brave Space Alliance and GoodKids Mad City. If you would like to join in on donations, look at the following links:
We must do better and we will do better.
-Sarah & Maggie