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It’s two things. One, it feels amazing that the Official Valentine 2021 shirt also I will do this theater community is saying, “This is a moment in our history we want to remember.” I grew up looking at the records of who got what in what year, and those are the things that matter when you’re a young artist who’s also an awards geek: “How can I be the youngest lighting designer to win?” or whatever it is. We want people to be able to look this year up in the history books and say, “Slave Play came out. What else happened that year? Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Amy Cooper. We want people to have those conversations around this play. Also, we want them to think about the other Black plays that are happening in this moment.
It makes me feel more committed to the Official Valentine 2021 shirt also I will do this responsibility I feel to my community. People are also celebrating the way in which Slave Play was such a responsible production, and thought about the people that were inside of the play, as well as the people who were coming to the theater, in ways we haven’t seen publicly as much. We have this responsibility to take care of people who love the theater and people who make the theater, and I hope I can take this moment to remind the people in power that theater artists really need their help and support right now. Obviously, the people who hold power in our country don’t see what we view as a necessity; the people who put billions of dollars into the economy don’t see the needs of people who need to pay their light bill this month. I think I’m becoming more committed to reminding people that part of loving theater is loving the people who make it and supporting them. I think we’re all figuring out how to do that because theater is a community-based project.