Gaslight Theatre Company is committed to making our theatre community better and strongly stands with #blacklivesmatter. But we know saying it is not enough.
Our board has been having a lot of conversations this past week about how we can support our community immediately and improve as a company. And while we have brainstormed a list of actions, they have been created in our own vacuum.
We believe the first thing we need to do is listen. With that in mind, we are pledging two initial things:
We know there is much more we can do in terms of inclusivity on our board, within our play selection, and with outreach. But we truly want to develop a specific and actionable plan to make that happen, which will be our primary objective at our Board Meeting this month. And we want to hold ourselves accountable and pledge to share a more detailed plan by July 1.
While we’re excited to be fundraising for our own cause, we’re simultaneously grappling with how we can do more to support our community. With that in mind, we’ll be re-directing 25% of all money raised during #NEPAGives this Friday to the Peace and Justice Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s not enough, but we hope that while we have this platform, we can do as much good as we can.
We are very excited to be participating in the NEPA Gives event, a one-day online giving extravaganza that's all about giving back to our community. As you might know, we were displaced from our home almost two years ago and have spent this time diligently searching for a new one, and Friday’s effort is now the launching pad of our renewed fundraising initiative: #GaslightGoesDowntown, which you can read more about on our giving page. We hope you’ll consider donating any amount (seriously, even $10 is amazing!) to help us secure our new home in Downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Learn more at: peaceandjusticecenter.com
Giving page: nepagives.org/organizations/gaslight
Today, we planned to share with great excitement that we are participating in #NEPAGives—a one-day, online giving extravaganza that’s all about giving back to the community—this Friday, June 5th. Although we do intend to move ahead with our planned fundraising, we strongly feel we cannot ignore the pain being felt across our country.
In Ancient Greece, theatre’s primary function was to provide a platform to express opinion and catharsis for the community. This core function has been a constant as theatre has evolved the past 2,600 years. Whether we realize it or not, we go to live theatre performances to experience empathy: for the characters in the play and with fellow audience members. We learn, heal, laugh, and empathize on an electrically human level; it’s what makes the experience different from tv and film. It is catharsis and compassion, listening and understanding together as one. It can affect political and societal change. And it’s important, now more than ever, that we write about and share our experiences with one another in this way. That we come together and feel together.
Our mission has been based in education, bringing life to classical works most might assume boring (Shakespeare, Moliere), underproduced titles that are award winning and have important messages but not necessarily mainstream (The Sunset Limited, Next Fall), and, most importantly, original work that give voice to emerging writers to talk about critical issues (Drowning Ophelia, The Pallbearers). We are so proud to have this mission, are dedicated to carrying it forward, and hope to do as much good as we can—as a theatre and as individuals—to support equality in our community.
We’re a small company but we can still make an impact by firmly standing in solidarity against racism, violence, and injustice. And while we strongly hope you will support us in NEPAGives come Friday, we hope that you can find it in your hearts to also support any one of these great organizations in the meantime:
peaceandjusticecenter.com / Peace and Justice Centerblackscranton.org
We’ll pick back up tomorrow, but for today: educate, reflect, speak up, and support.