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An Important Message to Audiences

Until further notice, I will not be doing Black Plays.

Why's that?

I'm gonna be real with you. I don't enjoy doing many of these plays.

These plays hurt. Many of the black plays that I have done have me playing a slave or oppressed due to my race. When I do these shows, a part of my soul is snatched out of my body. As a young black male, I am staring at my own mortality and oppression when I do these shows; this is no longer a play for me- its a historical reenactment.  It is not fun to do these shows. The rehearsal process, including the people I've met, are lovely, but most of the times they don't have to experience this. 

I worry about my success by saying this. I would LOVE to be cast in credible theatres in the DMV, but does my success depend on a quota of how many black shows I've done? "But Jordan, no one is making you do these shows" - Oh, but it feels that way. DMV theatre has been producing more diverse productions relating to a POC's (person of color) experience; however, many of these shows are extreme, traumatic, and are primarily for white audiences. Does a play have to pull from extremes in order to make an impact? 

 

While these shows portray history in black life, it is not our entire existence. Not enough plays/musicals are being made that spotlight the rest of our lives. While August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, (NAME HERE), etc. are doing a wonderful job, we aren't getting much diversity in the diversity plays, so to speak. How many black people are coming to see the black play in your season? I don't want to see this- I live it! I don't wanna act out what very well may happen in my life.   

People know these lessons good and well. Google is a wonderful thing. We have the entire wealth of the universe in our pockets (smartphones). I believe that we can incorporate black stories with different themes in our lineup to teach a lesson. Comedy, romance, mystery, drama, etc. are also effective tactics to stimulate minds. Depicting racism in its most extreme form (slavery, poverty, white supremacy, etc.) is an easy lesson that doesn't give much nuance to an audience's understanding of race.  

So yeah, I'm tired of it. My desire to act isn't seeking these shows out at the moment. I'd rather inject my blackness into other shows and diversify that way. I hope you support my efforts.

Sincerely,

Jordan Brown

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