We See You WAT, FAQ Part 1: We Gon’ Learn Today!

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 White American Theatre has been getting away with shit since the dawn of WAT… The world changed and we decided we had to change with it. No more being complicit. As we examined internalized racism and American racism as the pandemic of police killings flared, we were able to see with fresh eyes the racism that infests the systems that claim to support us.

Who put together these demands?

EVERYBODY, and definitely SOMEBODY you know. We had us a Zoom cookout and everybody brought a dish. Eat Up.

Why have we decided to speak as a collective?

Because that’s what WE ARE. We Said. What We Said. And How We Said it. Was a Collective. Said. Anybody who has spoken out against the American Theater, as many individuals in our collective have, have faced emotional and financial risks and retaliation. This is an effort to keep us and those who would stand with us safe. White American Theater wants our movement to have a head so they can chop it off, and that’s not gonna happen! Call us the anti-racist Hydra.

What does accountability mean to We See You as a collective body?

We also see US. We see our own complicity in holding the spaces that we’ve held for WAT to act a fool. So we must actively dismantle from within and without. Trust. There is plenty of brilliance up in here and we are constantly holding each other to account. You won’t hear nothing from us until we want you to hear from us. Unlike the tradition of WAT, who are currently shouting about all the work they are not doing, we are holding ourselves accountable through internal systems with the help of BIPOC artists who’ve been doing the work of undoing.

Who are we trying to hold accountable by creating this document?

Most of WHITE. AMERICAN. THEATER. Is non-profit, right? So who are they normally accountable to? YOU. The demands were for you, BIPOC artists and earnest allies, to advocate for yourself and as the expression goes make WAT Pay what they owe!! We don’t know what accountability means to you in your community, but we hope this helps you determine that. We are holding ourselves as a community accountable for what we deserve. We are holding WAT accountable for what they have withheld — opportunities, finances, productions, advancements of artists of color. We want EVERYBODY. to BE. BEST.

Part two is coming to Medium soon, but you can see more FAQ content on our social media RIGHT NOW! Follow us: @weseeyouwat on Instagram, and @WeSeeYou_Wat on Twitter, and join the conversation.

Waiting for the drop is so 2020.

WSY

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