Dear friends of PlayCo,
As a theatre dedicated to social justice and active engagement in our community, we share the outrage over the lynchings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless Black people. While these lynchings look different from those of the past, their motivation is no different, and racist violence is ongoing.
The deep-rooted white supremacy in this country and the systems built on it, including the police, terrorize and oppress Black communities. As we grieve with the Black members of our community, we acknowledge that anything less than direct action is contributing to the problem. We know that our anti-racist work must be ongoing. As an immediate step, we offer the greatest tool we have to the cause: our platform.
We are suspending all planned online programming until further notice in order to dedicate our platform to amplifying Black activism and sharing Black art; urging our audiences to sign petitions for justice and support anti-racist organizations; and providing resources for education and mental health.
To the Black artists and members of our community: we are here to support you, and our inbox remains open to articles and resources that need a signal-boost.
America must actively dismantle the racist systems that uphold it. The American Theatre cannot be exempt from this work. PlayCo is committed to examining our privilege and undoing our own systemic racism. We implore our industry to do the same, and establish equitable, anti-racist spaces that value Black stories and learn from Black perspectives.
We cannot afford to look away in this critical moment.
Charlene, Danielle, Jessica, Joey, Kate, Melissa, Renée, and Rob
The Play Company
Health & Wellness
These organizations support the mental health and wellness of the Black community.
Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American Therapist Directory | A directory of APISA-identified therapists and mental health resources. Part of the Asian Mental Health Collective.
55 Mental Health Resources for People of Color | Find mental health resources, podcasts, and advocacy organizations to help address behavioral and emotional health needs, treatment, and how to find care.
BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective) | A collective providing Black people with access emotional healing and care through education, training, advocacy and the creative arts.
Birth Justice Podcast NYC| The Birth Justice Podcast NYC takes a close, comprehensive and creative look at how folks in New York City experience and navigate reproductive oppression and create resilience strategies for their health and their families. Hosted by Taja Lindley.
Ethel’s Club | A platform offering space and online resources for people of color to heal, create, and form connections.
National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) | NQTTCN is a healing justice organization committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color. They aim to increase access to healing justice resources for QTPoC.
Get informed on the movement with these readings and sources of anti-racist learning.
26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets | There are and always have been folks who cannot attend protests but who contribute to ending police and state violence against black people. Created in 2014, this online pamphlet lists 26 ways you can engage in liberation.
The Anti-racist Reading List | “38 books for those open to changing themselves, and their world” compiled by Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University
Check Your Privilege | Founded by mental health activist Myisha T., Check Your Privilege offers courses, workshops, and guidance to folx who are on their journey toward deepening their anti-racism work.
Scaffolding Anti-Racism Resources | A working document providing resources that facilitate growth for white folks to become allies and support anti-racist practices.
Schomburg Center Black Liberation Reading List | The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture shares 95 book titles to turn to, plus ways to access them through the library and their shop.
TransformHarm.org | A resource hub about ending violence that curates articles and other teachings on Transformative Justice, Abolition, Community Accountability, and more topics.
What White People Can Do Next by Emma Dabiri | In this affecting and inspiring collection of essays, Emma Dabiri draws on both academic discipline and lived experience to probe the ways many of us are complacent and complicit—and can therefore combat—white supremacy.
- “But I’m not racist” by Lee Edward Colston II
- “How to maintain a predominantly white workplace” by Leniece Flowers Brissett
- “Performative Allyship is Deadly (Here’s What Do to Instead)” by Holiday Phillips
- “Why diversity matters” by Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- 13th (2016), dir. Ava Duvernay | Available on Netflix. Currently free to stream on YouTube.
- My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Town Hall Series
In the Theatre Community
Articles, theatre companies, and initiatives that revolve around our industry.
15 Commitments (+ Counting) | Rachel Chavkin, Director and Founding Artistic Director of The TEAM, commits to new anti-racist work both with artists and as a freelancer.
Anti-Racist Theatre | A selection of essays and videos from HowlRound that call out systemic racism in theatre and push toward new practices.
Black Joy | HowlRound’s selection of essays, videos, and podcasts that highlight work that celebrates Black artists.
Black Theatre Matters | A comprehensive list of both equity and non-equity Black theatres.
Black Theatre United | A coalition of Black theatre makers including Kenny Leon, Audra McDonald, and Schele Williams using their visibility to and influence to work for institutional change in theater and on the national stage.
Black Work Broadway | A database of plays and musicals created by Black artists, dating from as early as the late 19th century.
Broadway for Black Lives Matter | A forum for the Broadway community to move towards becoming an anti-racist and equitable space. Organized by the Broadway Advocacy Coalition.
National Theatre – Black Plays Archive | A documentation of the first professional production of every play by black British, African and Caribbean writers in the UK.
“OpEd: Silence of White Theaters on Anti-Black Violence is Deafening” | Dr. Monica Ndounou writes about the silence of white theatres and the urgent need to support Black theatres.
Open Letter from Arts and Cultural Workers of NYC | Following the lead of The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) arts workers are signing an open letter to NYC representatives to call for the “Defunding of the Police and Investment in BIPOC Communities”.
#OpenYourLobby | A movement calling on theaters to repurpose their empty spaces in support of protesters fighting racism & injustice.
“The Problem with white critics critiquing work by Artists of Color” by playwright Donja R. Love; published in The Lark’s blog
Theatre Makers of Color Requirements | Through this form started by playwrights Keelay Gipson and Stacey Rose, Theatre Makers of Color can help generate a list of demands/rules of engagement to hold White spaces accountable and demand equity in the American Theatre.
“Tired but Not Daunted in the Twin Cities” | Jerald Raymond Pierce, associate editor of American Theatre, speaks with Black theatremakers who call for action in the theatre community.
We See You, White American Theater | Created by BIPOC theatremakers, a demand for a more equitable and safe space for all BIPOC communities in our nation and inside of the American Theatre.
Plays to Read / Stream
- Black Voices presented by L.A. Theatre Works | Six plays from African-American playwrights, including Roger Guenveur Smith’s A Huey P. Newton Story and Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, are available for free listening.
- ear for eye by debbie tucker green | Available to read online for free through the Royal Court Theatre.
- Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress
- Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimké
For New Yorkers
New York-specific resources and ways to take action.
“‘Our Fight as a Community Isn’t Singular, It is Inclusive’: NYC Black-Owned Restaurants Say How Lists Have Impacted Business” by Tanay Warerkar and Luke Fortney
When We All Vote | Register to vote in the General Election, plus find events and resources that will help you take action.
Reopening NYC: What Workers Need to Know | The pandemic disproportionately affects people of color. This document, from the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) provides information for workers and employers as the city moves into Phase four reopening.
Find and contact your representatives: