Black Lives Matter: Our Solidarity Statement

June 5, 2020

As artists and scholars of different backgrounds comitted to making, researching, and teaching theatre, dance, and performance, we write to express our solidarity with all those protesting this country’s ongoing, centuries-long legacy of racism and anti-Black violence.


As artists and scholars of different backgrounds comitted to making, researching, and teaching theatre, dance, and performance, we write to express our solidarity with all those protesting this country’s ongoing, centuries-long legacy of racism and anti-Black violence. Affirming our unwavering support for our Black community members, we stand and bear witness with them to the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sean Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade by police and white vigilantes. We furthermore express our care and deep concern for our students and colleagues of color in the face of the disproportionate scale of illness and death that Black, Brown and Indigenous communities are experiencing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We pledge not only to continue our fight for racial justice, but to intensify that fight to meet the scale of the crises that face us today. 


We recognize that the dispossession (or “looting”) and criminalization of Black people, Black life, and Black communities have been critical to US state and corporate power since the country’s founding. As members of the Brown University community, we have a particular obligation to continuously remind ourselves of this fact in light of our University’s historical ties to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Police power is one facet of the structural violence of white supremacy that sustains the status quo of American life and death, and that is embedded in the norms of our own institutions. We commit to holding our Department and this University accountable to working in solidarity with others in the cause of anti-racism. We likewise call upon Brown’s leaders and administrators to confront  the ways that racism continues to manifest itself on this campus directly. We ask that Brown closely consider how our own campus’s security and policing protocols reiterate the nationwide ethic and practice of police power whose effects are horrifyingly clear. 

Finally, we acknowledge and embrace our Department’s distinctive responsibility to help our students cultivate modes of artistry, creativity, and embodied expression that seek to dismantle the systematic violences of racism and anti-Blackness and to reimagine and rebuild the world anew. 

Members of the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
Brown University

Michelle Bach-Coulibaly, Senior Lecturer
Shura Baryshnikov, Head of Physical Theatre for the MFA Programs in Acting and Directing
Stephen Berenson,  Founder, Brown/Trinity MFA Programs in Acting & Directing
Angela Brazil, Director of the MFA Programs in Acting and Directing
Jo Bynum, Academic Coordinator
Connie Crawford, Adjunct Lecturer
Ron Cesario, Costume Shop Manager/Lecturer
Sarah dAngelo Assistant Professor
J Dellecave, Visiting Assistant Professor
Alexander Eizenberg, Sound Designer
Renée Surprenant Fitzgerald, Lecturer
Spencer Golub, Professor
Alexander Haynes, Lecturer
Tim Hett, Technical Director/Light Designer/Lecturer
Leon Hilton, Assistant Professor
Julia Jarcho, Head of Playwriting
Melissa Kievman, Creative Producer
Brian Mertes, Head of the MFA Directing Program
Brian McEleney, Head of the MFA Acting Program
Kym Moore, Professor
Max Ramirez,  Assistant Technical Director
Chris Redihan, Academic Events & Facilities Manager
B Reo, Production Director
Rebecca Schneider, Professor
Patricia Seto-Weiss, Visiting Lecturer
Brianne Shaw, Marketing and Box Office Coordinator
Sydney Skybetter, Lecturer
Barbara Tannenbaum, Distinguished Senior Lecturer
Elmo Terry-Morgan, Artistic Director of Rites and Reason Theatre, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
Jamie Tyrol, Department Manager
Patrica Ybarra, Chair/Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies