Dear friends of MPP:
The mission of Merely Players Presents is to “connect audiences and artists throughout the metro Atlanta area, elicit conversations, promote thinking, and amplify a diversity of voices”. Our annual event AmpliFest is named for our mission and sadly was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, our mission to make voices heard – especially those who are marginalized, underrepresented, or oppressed – continues.
Some would begin the following sentence with “given the current climate in our country…” BUT as many of us know and a lot of us are learning, this climate is not a new one. The lesson our white community is learning is one that people of color have been trying to teach us for far too long. And the message from them is clear – THEY ARE TIRED.
It is a tragedy that it takes the death of too many black men and women to drive this home for so many of us in our country. Believe me, I am not pointing a finger; the first person I must look at is myself. Where is my responsibility? My culpability? What have I done, and what have I failed to do?
If our mission at MPP is truly to amplify a diversity of voices, then our choices in programs, shows, and opportunities within our organization must reflect that; they must be intentional and purposeful. It is with this mission in mind that we move forward and have conversations not just with people of color, but just as importantly within the white community to recognize racism, call out racism, and combat racism.
The stage is a wonderful platform where we can tell the stories of those whose voices go otherwise unheard. It should not take a mass protest and mass media coverage in order for those voices to have such a platform. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
This may be uncomfortable for many of us and others may say “I go to the theatre to be entertained, not preached to.” While no one wants the stage to be didactic (at least I don’t), it is necessary that we use whatever platform – or privilege - we have to try and complete the entirety of our mission: “connect audiences and artists, elicit conversations, promote thinking and amplify the diversity of our community”.
Now. More than ever.
Will you join us in our mission?
Wishing you peace,
Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Merely Players Presents, Inc.