Dramatic Repertory Company
Dear DRC fans and friends,

We miss you, so it was time to write.

We miss making theater, so it was time to write.

We miss so much of what we took for granted only a few months ago, so it was time to write.

Time to write with an update and an invitation.

And mostly to say, we don’t know what we’re doing but we’re doing it anyway.

We’re still here.

We were having a super successful run of Lynne Conner’s THE MOTHER in March. It was successful artistically, financially, and in reaching larger audiences who wanted to engage with this new play. And then we all know what happened so we canceled the second half of the run to protect our artists, our audiences, and our community. We’re proud of what the entire artistic and technical team created, excited by the feedback we got about it, both celebratory and constructively critical, and deeply disappointed that we couldn’t share it with everyone who wanted to be part of it.

Yes, it’s true, we will be creating the most kick-butt production of Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE directed by our very own Sally Wood with an entirely local cast in collaboration with Portland Stage as part of their mainstage season, we just don’t know when yet. Stay tuned. You’ll be the first people to know anything as soon as we know anything more.

We’re feeling this moment of reckoning in our country, in our state, and in Portland. We know that COVID-19 is real and impacting lives in ways that will change us forever. We unequivocally say, just in case there was any doubt, that Black Lives Matter. We are grappling with what this moment means for us as individuals and as a theater company. We have no answers, only questions.

These questions (see below) will be our creative fuel for the next 9 months (and hopefully the rest of our existence). During this pandemic pause in creating live theater productions, we are embarking together as an entirely white Board of Directors on a question-asking,
honestly vulnerable,
kindness- and patience-embracing,
self-led (for the moment),
very likely messy
and quite possibly ugly

into who we are as a group bound together by three basic things:
we are white,
we are theater-makers,
and we love DRC.

In other words, we’re turning ourselves into a white affinity group or caucus. If you don’t know what that is, no problem because we didn’t until yesterday, either, but you can read about the idea here: https://www.racialequitytools.org/act/strategies/caucus-affinity-groups/

Some questions we have: How do each of us understand whiteness and how that impacts how we operate in the world? Do we as individuals and a collective of artists have a responsibility to do anti-racist work, and what does anti-racist really mean? How can we identify our many blindspots as an all-white-led organization and work to expand our understanding of how we “see?” How can we develop the stamina necessary to tolerate the mistakes we have and will inevitably continue to make and learn from those f-ups? Are we truly ready to be called out and called in by BIPOC members of our community? And if not, why? How do we face, with authenticity and integrity, the real challenges of making theater in the whitest state in the US if we are truly dedicated to being inclusive? Etc. etc. etc.

We don’t know what we’re doing but we’re doing it anyway. Please consider this an invitation. What questions do you have for us? What questions do you think we should be asking? What questions do you want to explore with us?

Email us. Call us. Send by carrier pigeon. We’re all home. We’re serious. See our contact info below.

With every positive wish for your health, safety, strength, and perseverance, thank you for being part of DRC in whatever way you are.

Dramatic Repertory Company
Board of Directors

Keith Powell Beyland, Artistic Director (info@dramaticrep.org)
Meg Anderson, co-president (anderson.meg.ann@gmail.com)
Sally Wood, co-president
Peter Brown
Marjorie Gallant (nerdsofafeatherdesign@gmail.com)
Christopher Holt
Casey Turner (casey.j.turner@gmail.com)
Shane Van Vliet
Bess Welden (besswelden@gmail.com)
Marjolaine Whittlesey
Michaela Wirth
Vanessa SW Beyland (vanessa@dramaticrep.org)
Colleen A. Madden (colleenmadden8242@gmail.com)

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