To the Berkeley Rep community,
These last few weeks have brought a massive amount of information, specific demands for action, and first hand testimonials that have brought home to us the reality of the lived experience of our BIPOC artists, friends, family, colleagues, neighbors. They have made many of us see what we hadn’t been able to see before, namely, that we as a country have fallen agonizingly short of our highest values. And it has been painful to acknowledge the extent to which we, as individuals, as institutions, and as a theatre community have been part of that racist system.
This has led us to begin what we expect will be an ongoing and rigorous internal discussion, with our staff, our board, and with our colleagues, about the ways in which we have perpetuated racist behavior. And we are exploring how we, as a theatre company, can examine the many concerns that have been brought forward by our BIPOC colleagues in the documents that have been circulated both nationally and locally.
Lasting, meaningful change will require that we explore each of the issues presented by our BIPOC colleagues and respond accordingly. We share and respect the sense of urgency that underlies these documents and intend to use them as a guide for the work ahead, and to be open and accountable as that work progresses.
We are committed to doing this critical work to ensure that Berkeley Rep is a safer, more equitable place for artists, staff, students, audience, and community.
Gail Wagner, President of the Board
Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director
Susie Medak, Managing Director
Berkeley Rep addresses the concerns of the cast of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play regarding the shutdown of the production at the beginning of the shelter in place mandated by the City of Berkeley on March 16. Read the letter in full.
We at Berkeley Rep are grateful to the myriad Black educators, organizers, and activists who have been doing this work for decades. They have created and shared many excellent resources, from virtual mental health resources for Black people to anti-racist educational guides for white allies. These are some of the resources we’ve found helpful. We also encourage you to donate to organizations locally and nationally that support Black communities and causes.
Places to donate
- Color of Change
- Change.org (Black Lives Matter petitions)
- 5 Calls Civic Action
- Linktree National Resources List