One year ago today, George Floyd was murdered. He is one of many Black people who have been brutalized as a result of a vicious white supremacist system. We commit to rooting out white supremacy in ourselves, in our theater, and in our communities. We assert unequivocally Black Lives Matter.
Katie here, with an attempt to gather up some favorite moments from 2020, following up on our lists of favorite books and music from the year.
I can think so clearly back to 365 days ago, when I was looking forward to all the things I thought 2020 was going to be, blissfully ignorant of all the things it would become. I had great plans: a few terrific trips, a 100+ person family reunion, school spring musicals I was ushering into existence.
It took many months, but I have let go of that alternative universe, and now live fully in the present. It has been a year of much smaller moments for me: a deep appreciation for the way the sunlight changes in my apartment; an extended visit with my sister in the summer; humbly expanding my participation in the march towards racial justice; a phone conversation on Election Day helping a woman in Michigan get to the polls; the sadness, memory, and catharsis that comes at a funeral; weekly gatherings to read and discuss plays and their themes.
This world is a mess. I take a bit of comfort in the knowledge that this world has always been a mess, and this year continued to expose more and more of that mess. But I truly believe 2020 can help us put the world back together again. Through the heartbreak and the chaos, we all have a few moments worth remembering: some big and profound, some small and delicate. Some fiery, some upsetting, some passionate, some subtle. Memories that become core to our sense of self, and memories that emerge without warning.
Take a look at some favorite 2020 memories crowd-sourced from the TIA community. I am so grateful to have gone through this year with all of you. I would have been lost without Theater in Asylum to keep me focused, committed, and processing. Thank you all for giving me—and each other—moments from 2020 that we’ll want to hold on to.
All my love,
Some of the TIA Community’s favorite moments from 2020
2020 has been… a lot. Crisis upon crisis has upended nearly everything, redirecting us and driving us to introspection along the way. Throughout the year, we’ve held gatherings online to process all that’s happening, as well as to explore and discuss wonderful plays. Each gathering also highlighted an organization doing good work amongst all the chaos. These organizations have their hands in the dirt and their eyes on a better world.
This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to consider supporting one (or more!) of the organizations we highlighted this year. Below, see a loosely-categorized list of heroes who are:
Thank you so much. Please take care of yourselves and each other.
Peace, power, and love to you,
Paul, Katie, Kathryn, and Hilarie
Making and Spreading Theater
Legal Support and Civic Engagement
Empowering People and Communities
Immigration and Asylum Support
Housing, Healthcare, and Education
Our hearts are breaking and our blood is boiling. The systemic de-valuing, persecution, and killing of Black people in the United States is abhorrent, unjust, and unacceptable at all times and in all places. But the murder of George Floyd demands further statements of solidarity and soul-searching.
The assault on black lives this week, months, and throughout our nation's history, is devastating, outrageous, and unacceptable. Black Lives Matter.
It is part of the bigger systemic problem of white supremacy that has oppressed, injured, and killed millions of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, disabled and immunosuppressant people, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, refugees, and people in poverty. Every death and every ruined life is too many.
We know that as an arts organization run by white people, Theater in Asylum is a beneficiary of the brutal system of white supremacy. We recognize this, and through each action we do and each space we hold, we try to create a room of good faith and equality. It is not enough. We will continue to listen, watch, read, protest, and stand next to Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and all who are hurt by white supremacy. We believe it is important to send this email, to state clearly that we believe Black lives matter. It is only one step and we will continue the work of making ourselves and our theater company anti-racist.
Here are some resources we have found that we would like to amplify:
Natl Resource List #GeorgeFloyd+
Compiled JaLoni Amor Owens, a New York based community organizer and freelance writer
Inspired by What To Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris
Black Lives Matter Syllabus
A website full of resources, readings, and videos created by Frank Leon Roberts
Nothing to add: A Challenge to White Silence in Racial Discussions
An article on white silence by Robin DiAngelo
43 Bail Funds You Can Support Right Now
Compiled by Carmen Phillips, published on BlackLivesMatterSyllabus.com and Autostraddle.com
Another unarmed black person has been killed. It’s no wonder we can’t breathe.
An Op-ed by Ben Crump, lawyer representing George Floyd's family
We would like to assert again a truth we believe deeply:
Black Lives Matter.
Safety, power, and love to you,
Paul, Katie, Kathryn, Hilarie, and Samantha
Theater in Asylum
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower our community. TIA joyfully pursues a rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making. We create performances to investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. We prize space to process, space to question—asylum—for ourselves and our community. Core programs include original productions; themed cabarets to present new work from our community; and Cold Readings to read and discuss published plays.
Copyright © 2021 THEATER IN ASYLUM. All rights reserved.