“As members of the Black theatre community, we stand together to help protect Black people, Black talent and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. Our voices are united to empower our community through activism in the pursuit of justice and equality for the betterment of all humanity. We will not be silent. We will be seen. We will be heard. We are here. Join us.”
This call to action is just the beginning. It was the latest manifestations of police brutality that galvanized Black Theatre United into being. With roots reaching into all 50 of the United States this coalition can harness invaluable political scope and influence. To elevate a cause or to overturn policies that target black people in any one state or community, the group will draw on members with local connections to use their visibility and influence for good in theater and on the national stage.
Passionate and committed, this founding group of actors, directors, musicians, writers, technicians, producers and stage management includes: Lisa Dawn Cave, Darius de Haas, Brandon Victor Dixon, Carin Ford, Capathia Jenkins, LaChanze, Kenny Leon, Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald, Michael McElroy, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Wendell Pierce, Billy Porter, Anna Deavere Smith, Allyson Tucker, Tamara Tunie, Lillias White, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Schele Williams and Vanessa Williams.
Black Theatre United (BTU) releases the new song and video, “Stand for Change,” in partnership with the Republic Records Action Committee (R2AC) and HunterPark Productions. The incredibly powerful and emotional song is brought to life by 13 acclaimed and award-winning veterans of the Broadway stage. Created as the theme song for BTU, 100% of net proceeds from the sale of the record will support the ongoing social justice efforts of the organization.
Directed by – Michael Cooke || Music & Lyrics by – Phil Galdston, Dave Schroeder || Music Producer – Swagg R’Celious, Phil Galdston || Production Agency – HunterPark Productions || Produced by – Bethanie Schwartz, Liz Curtis, Lauren Tuttman || Music Consultant – Ramon Hervey || Photography by – Richard Corman Line || Producer – Liam Christoffers || Production Manager – Ameer Bilal Kazmi || Cinematography by – Valentina Caniglia || 1st AD – Gary De Jesus || 2nd AD – Amanda Rodirguez || Wardrobe by – Deborah Medeiros || Make Up by – Laramie, Shannon Young, David Kalahiki || Hair by – Daniel Koye, Yancey Edwards, Ro Morgan || G&E – Mastershot Films || Gaffer – Tom Chaves || Key Grip – Amine Mihoubi || Steadicam – Kyle Fasanella || Editor – Zeus Sepulveda || Color & Finishing – Nice Shoes, Jason Farber Colorist: Lenny Mastrandrea, Glenn Weidlich Conform: Artie Dorrington || Sound Design – Ryan Hobler VFX by – Rob Bischoff || BTS Director – Ahmad Simmons || BTS Videographer – Xavi Portillo || BTS Sound – Donny Tam || Locations – NJPAC, Shubert Organization, The Fox Theatre, Hollywood Pantages Theatre || Special Thank You – NYU Steinhardt, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, American Family Insurance Recorded at -Kessler Media || Recorded by – Nicholas Wells || Drums – Quinton Robinson || Bass – Michael Olatuja || Guitar – Bernd Schoenhart || NYU Orchestra – Rindsay Taylor, Brandee Younger
The Refocus Project’s free play-reading series will serve to elevate rarely produced works from communities the American theatre has historically overlooked. Beginning April30, the first year of Roundabout’s Refocus Project will spotlight twentieth century Black plays and their playwrights, highlighting them a rich collection of additional materials. Please join us in getting to know these works and redefining them as the American classics they truly are.
BTU is thrilled to work with Fair Count, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded by former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. Fair Count partners with hard-to-count (HTC) communities to achieve a fair and accurate count of all people in the nation in the 2020 Census and strengthen the pathways to greater civic participation. On Wednesday, June 17, BTU founding members Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad will join Fair Count for “Sisters Sip,” a virtual Zoom holistic happy hour where they’ll discuss what it means as Black women to show up for their community while still prioritizing their overall health.
BTU is also partnering with Harness, a nonprofit started by America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama and Ryan Piers Williams to engage artists in social change. Together they will launch the #BeCounted campaign, which features Stacey Abrams, Kerry Washington and other activists, community leaders and celebrities to boost the participation of hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census and help ensure that the $1.5 trillion federal dollars allocated through the Census reach minority communities. BTU member Kenny Leon will take part in upcoming Harness awareness efforts relating to the Census.
Help us to influence widespread reform and combat systemic racism by donating. Black Theatre United harnesses the power of its collective voice to create substantive change within the theatre industry and throughout our country and we need your partnership.