June 5, 2020
To the Families and Community of Spotlight Youth Theatre:
Theatre is about telling stories. At Spotlight, we have always felt that youth theatre is an opportunity for learning about humanity. For fighting for what you believe in. For unity and for certain shows to be a platform to discuss conflict openly and honestly by telling real stories. We have always pushed our programming and produced shows that spark debate and make some people uncomfortable.
Now is not the time to be silent in the face of racism and other intolerance. We must peacefully challenge intolerance and racism because it shrinks lives and damages all of us. Challenging racism and intolerance peacefully takes effort. As a theatre community we need to actively refute prejudices, always.
We can do this by telling stories. We need to keep telling stories so youth can understand issues and have a voice. We need to keep telling stories so leaders may listen and understand.
In youth theatre, the journey to storytelling is more important than the final results on stage. Kids make friends for life and become a cast based on who they are and not what they are. More than ever, we need casts to come together; and we will continue to produce shows that illuminate the human condition and provoke meaningful discourse about real life issues such as racism.
There is no better way to express the need for change than through the arts. Maybe stories are the cure.
To be a better ally, we can educate not just through theatre, but read about race through books like So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.
Spotlight Youth Theatre Board of Directors