August 6, 2020
The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, along with massive inequities in deaths from Covid-19, has led to widespread demonstrations across the country demanding police reform and a long-overdue national reckoning with the systemic racism deeply ingrained into the structures of American life.
The theatre community is actively engaged in this reckoning. We thank the collectives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) artists who have contributed to the demands issued by We See You, White American Theater and The Living Document. San Francisco Shakespeare Festival sees itself in these documents, and will work for change in our community and our organization.
As a Shakespeare theatre, we benefit from the outsized impact of one white male playwright on the entire theatre industry. While we will always appreciate the beauty of his poetry and humanity of his stories, we accept our responsibility to challenge the dominance of his brand. We recommit ourselves to interrogating his plays and expanding the traditional Eurocentric classical canon.
We are now thoroughly reviewing the documents mentioned above with our staff and board of directors. By the end of September, we will create a page on our website to update the community on our actions. We will honor the demand for more transparency and accountability that we have heard from our own Resident Artists.