Who is We See You WAT?

Like Biggie Said.. We gonna give it to you ONE MORE TIME, check it…

“We’re a B-I, P-O, C-C,O, L-L, E-C, T-I, VE.

Recognize the White American Theatre ain’t Right,

So we came Right,

Out to Read You

And say WE SEE YOU!”

Note: If you don’t know the song… look it up. There’s a hint and everything. Use your text analysis. (And no, it ain’t from Hamilton.)

What prompted the initial letter?

The same thing that prompts all Letters. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired of the way that…


Future We — Push Through

Have you ever seen a woman give birth?

When it happens on television it always fits conveniently between commercial breaks, underscored with dramatic music, but in real life, birth is no respecter of time or sound. From the moment the water breaks there’s no turning back. The baby pushes against the cervix; the pushing sends nerve impulses to the brain; the brain stimulates the pituitary gland to release oxytocin causing contractions; and the contractions cause the baby to stretch and push against the cervix even more. …


Trans and Queer BIPOC to the Front!

Black queer people and Black trans people have always been on the front line of justice, from Black Lives Matter, to Stonewall, to the recorded history they deny us. Yet, we are often the last people included in the goals and outcomes of that justice. It has long been proven that intersectionality is what makes a movement, and thus it must be included in our visions for the future.

Often as a trans artist I am asked to offer my face, my body, my voice to an institution without any recognition on their behalf of what it means for my…


The Strain: White Fragility

The pressure increases… it feels there’s like an anvil sitting on your chest. Or a bed of nails. Breathing is laboured. Nausea. Headaches. Exhaustion…
Yeah. These are all signs that you may be carrying around the weight of White Fragility (*see White Tears), a dangerous strain of White Supremacy that disproportionately weighs down BIPOC Artists like us.
What you’re experiencing is not a figment of your imagination. The burden that weighs you down, it’s real.

Presumably they’ve hired you for your artistic point of view; the beautiful execution of your work; your expertise; your knowledge; your history. Qualities that in…


The Isms in the Room

While we’re talking about “isms,” can we please discuss the patriarchal overlord that is Capitalism? This economic system we’re swimming in feeds on oppression of all kinds, but racism is its main course — has been for centuries. It is nearly synonymous with White Supremacy, and the more we understand the relationship between the two the more we have to ask ourselves: how does capitalism show up in the White American Theatre and can we ever have an antiracist theater while living in a capitalist society?

The answer to the first part of that question is pretty easy for anyone…


All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk

Gather round party people,
I’ve a story to tell,
One that BIPOC theatre artists,
will know all too well.
It’s what granny would say,
When you were spurned by your kin.
“All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk!”
Now, let us begin.

Kevin is Black.
As Black as can be.
Well, at least he is theoretically.
He’s got brown cocoa skin,
And coily Black hair,
And his personal style has a bit of a flair.
But this is where similarities end
And the problem with our dear Kevin,
Begins.

Kevin, you see,
Is a whip smart young man.
(He’ll remind you of this whenever…


WTF is a board?

Seriously.

Who are these powerful people supposedly puppeteering Artistic Directors, Managing Directors, Executive Directors, Chief Financial Officers and countless variations of artistic leaders?

Why is it so hard to understand where a Board of Directors’ role begins and ends?

Who decides who gets to be on the Board of a nonprofit theater?

Why is it usually filled with rich white people who don’t know a dang thing about making a play let alone stewarding a national narrative that honors the humanity of all people in that nation?

We referenced the 501c3 website, the business title for a non profit, for…


Liberation Begins with the BIPOC Imagination

A little confession: I am a lifelong theater-maker in recovery from an abusive relationship.

I’m coming to terms with the unfortunate fact that my imagination has been colonized, despite years of resistance. I’ve been held captive by Eurocentric theatrical traditions, language, and dramaturgy that has been thrust upon me at various points in my creative evolution. Over time, it’s hardened into the very foundation of my theater practice. This assault on my creativity began with my first encounters with the so-called “theatrical canon,” which in most schools, academies, and institutions, centers a white, European aesthetic.

As theater-makers, early on we…


The Bipoc Leader’s Survival Guide

This one goes out to our fellow leaders. Artistic Directors. Associate Artistic Directors. Resident Directors. Directors of Engagement and Education.

Maybe you’ve been at your job for a year or two, maybe more. Maybe you’ve got an exciting offer from a PWI this summer, when the call for social justice spurred some institutions to rightfully and finally, create some new seats at the table.

Maybe you’re the first and only. Maybe you’re among a few or many.

Real talk: these theatres are striving for diversity, equity, and inclusion on paper, but are not doing the necessary work and thereby causing…


THE MOVEMENT BEGINS LIKE THIS…

Week in and week out,
I turn on my camera.
I introduce myself.
“My name is…He. Him. His.
I’m calling in from the Land of the Lenape.”
I look around the Zoom and “popcorn” to another member.
Welcome to the “WeSeeYou” weekly meeting.
Many familiar faces,
but also many black squares with only names displayed. Every week I scroll through two or three screens of them. The ones too shy to show their faces or maybe it’s just that they don’t feel like appearing on camera today because all they can muster is the strength to simply log in and listen in.
Sometimes I’m a “black screen”. On mute…

We See You WAT

We are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We are theatremakers. We demand a just and equitable American Theatre. Join us at WeSeeYouWAT.com

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