The Dramatists Guild's sister organization, The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, released a statement today we'd like to share with our membership about censorship's role in the theatre.
"The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund wishes to express its full support to the creators and cast of Hamilton: An American Musical, for exercising their right to free speech this week, and for using the theater to speak truth to power. We believe that free expression does not require an apology. Further, we believe that theater was not invented to comfort those in power, but instead, to tell difficult stories in our complicated and diverse democracy. The President-Elect, offended by the manner in which the cast of Hamilton chose to speak their truth, commanded them to apologize. The chilling effect which this kind of command can have on the willingness of Americans everywhere to speak their truths is obvious and alarming. Censorship tells artists what they are not permitted to say. 'Apologize!' goes beyond this to tell them what they are expected to say. We proudly stand with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton as they quite literally sing these words from the Declaration of Independence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' You are an inspiration to your fellow artists and you have our gratitude and our support."
The Dramatists Guild released their own statement on the situation on Saturday afternoon.
"The Dramatists Guild of America applauds the courage of the HAMILTON cast in exercising its first amendment right and refutes any voice that would criticize or condemn them for doing so. Free, unimpeded speech is one of the core values of American democracy."
Original artwork by Anthony Kieren designed for The Shades was released today. Based heavily on Plato's "Allegory of The Cave", the image pays homage to themes of shadow play, story telling, and American Sign Language as a means of communication.
The cast will include the talent of: Thomas DellaMonica*, Ashley Harrell, Bruce Jones, Britta Kasprzak*, Evan Kasprzak*, John McGinty*, and Jenna Siladie.
* = Member of Actors' Equity Association
Production team will include Miriam Rochford and Melissa Jones.
Free reservations can now be made by filling out the form below. Hope to see you there!
My play in development, The Shades, will receive it's first public reading as a part of the Friday Night Footlights series at The Dramatist Guild of America.
Synopsis: Old friends sit around a bonfire in the backyard they spent many of their formative years in together making shadow puppets, talking about dead pop singers, and nostalgically catching up with pre-loaded knowledge from social media. As the night unfolds, the question arises: how great have the rifts between them become, and can they ever get back to the closeness they once had?
The reading will feature original music by Andy Gray of Trigger City Trio. Special thanks to the New York Deaf Theatre.
Friday, December 16th, 2016
The Mary Rodgers Room, Dramatists Guild of America
1501 Broadway, Suite 710
New York, NY 10036
Click here to see a map
Be sure to bring a photo ID for entry into the building and take the elevators to the 7th Floor.
RSVP's can be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing image, cast list, and Facebook event to come soon!