SAN DIEGO: San Diego Repertory Theatre, the Old Globe, and La Jolla Playhouse have announced that the three theatres will now co-sponsor San Diego Rep’s “We Are Listening” series. The live virtual salon about Black artists’ experiences in theatre is hosted and curated by San Diego Rep’s development coordinator Ahmed K. Dents. Dents will be joined by the Old Globe’s associate artistic director and director of arts engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, and La Jolla Playhouse’s artistic programs manager and local casting director Jacole Kitchen as co-curators.
“The challenges, desires, obstacles, and dreams that inform the careers of African American theatre artists in America today demand to be heard and understood,” said Sam Woodhouse, San Diego Rep artistic director, in a statement. “There is much work to do in the march towards racial justice, equity and the dismantling of white supremacy in our culture. ‘We Are Listening’ is part of that march.”
Previous guests of the series include Kitchen, Bradley-Ballentine, founding artistic director of MOXIE Theatre and freelance director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, the Old Globe board member and Theatre Corner founder Michael Taylor, San Diego Arts & Culture Commissioner, CEO of Urban Warriors and founder of Kuumba Fest Dajahn Blevins, Common Ground Theatre executive artistic director Yolanda Franklin, actor Antonio “TJ” Johnson, actor Monique Gaffney, director Thom W. Jones II, and actor and singer Minka Wiltz. Most recently, writer Bil Wright and performer Eboni Muse were guests on Aug. 27. Sheldon Epps, artistic director emeritus of Pasadena Playhouse, is scheduled to join on Sept. 10.
“We are honored to partner with San Diego Rep and the Old Globe on this extraordinary program,” said Christopher Ashley, La Jolla Playhouse’s Rich Family artistic director, in a statement. “Amplifying voices of color on our stages is vital to becoming a more compassionate and inclusive community. One of our tasks as a society, and specifically as theatre artists, is to figure out how to re-emerge from this moment in a more equitable way, and we can only accomplish this by engaging in these invaluable conversations.”
Added Erna Finci Viterbi artistic director Barry Edelstein in a statement: “The Old Globe’s commitment to making theatre as a public good obliges us to serve every part of our community. And in this moment of racial reckoning across American society, this means paying special attention to the experience of Black San Diego. ‘We Are Listening’ is a great way to do that. The Globe is honored and grateful to partner with San Diego REP and La Jolla Playhouse as we strive toward anti-racism in the San Diego theatre ecosystem.”
More information on the series is available online.The series is hosted every other Thursday at 7 p.m. PT on Zoom. Registration for the event is free.
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