Arena Players Incorporated, the oldest continuously operating African American community theater in the country, does not condone or support the rampant injustice and inequity that continues to grip and dismantle our society. We are saddened and angered, like so many Americans, by the ongoing police brutality of African Americans nationwide. As such, we feel it is our civic duty to take a stance and support artistic expressions that challenge the status quo.
Our organization was founded in 1953, in the middle of the civil rights era. Arena Players’ formation was a direct response to pervasive segregation and inequality. There was (and still is) a severe lack of opportunity for black theatre practitioners, in the American Theatre. Most were relegated to the stage and wedged into servant roles; performing in theaters where they couldn’t even get a seat.
Our founders came together to fill that void. This was a revolutionary act! They created a place where African American voices could be heard, and where African American stories could be told. It is now 2020, and our mission hasn’t wavered…not for a second!!
Please join us in recognizing the immediate need for change, progressive solutions, and a just society. We stand in solidarity with all people of color who are forced to navigate inequality and insufferable injustices. We stand in solidarity with all the young people who have come together to peacefully protest and demonstrate their convictions and strength. We stand in solidarity with all Americans who are committed to change.
Let’s not pretend anymore…Let’s do something about it!
--Arena Players Staff and Board of Directors