NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced the launch of its Theatre for Activism (T4A) series with an inaugural gathering called Rest Up. The virtual convening, to be held April 27-28, is designed to connect participants with resources to strengthen self-care and collective care practices.
“We’re thrilled to launch the Theatre for Activism series with Rest Up, which will provide a much-needed focus on care practices for the theatre field,” TCG executive director and CEO Teresa Eyring said in a statement. “In our research and fieldwide gatherings, we hear again and again of the toll that burnout is taking on our theatre ecology. Rest Up will not only help address this critical issue in the short term, but also contribute to longer-term cultural shifts.”
The programming for Rest Up includes panels and discussions on burnout, caregiving, freelancing, collective liberation, and organizational policy and practice, among others. Facilitators, moderators, and panelists include activist Jewel Cadet; Penumbra Theatre president Sarah Bellamy; actor B. Hawk Snipes; Harold Steward, executive director and cultural strategist at The Theater Offensive; Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) associate producer Hope Chávez; arts consultant and musician Meena Malik; consultant and musician Rebecca KellyG; screenwriter, actor, and director Khanisha Foster; TCG communications director Corinna Schulenberg; Teatro Luna artistic director Alex Meda; Rad Pereira, director of engagement and impact at New York Stage and Film; Baltimore Center Stage interim artistic director Ken-Matt Martin; creative producer Deadria Harrington; OSF interim chief operating officer Anyania Muse; and artist and ARTISTS HEAL founder Noelle Johnson.
Theatre for Activism is part of Accountability for Abundance (A4A), a national initiative of theatre artists committed to developing and sharing new practices for a more equitable theatre ecology. A4A is being developed by TCG and an advisory council that includes Chávez, Meda, Malik, and WACO Theater Center director of communications and strategy Nijeul X. The A4A collective will collaborate on archiving past work, creating a peer-learning community, and establishing field-wide learning opportunities.
TCG cites movements like We See You White American Theater and No More 10 Out of 12s for helping to inspire their new arts activism series. “The decision to prioritize Rest Up as the first part of T4A is grounded in the recognition that we can’t address our current challenges without prioritizing self-care and mutual support,” Elena Chang, TCG’s managing director for equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, said in a statement. “Knowing that rest means different things to different people, we’ll work to center the care networks of artists and activists who have developed powerful practices of care out of necessity.”
Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for theatre and the publisher of American Theatre, strive to lead for a just and thriving theatre ecology. With over 700 member theatre and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 individual members, TCG reaches more than a million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year.
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