A night of creative protest – variety4 min read
Top Broadway talent will join forces to create new works for the benefit of civil rights organizations that will only be on display at the night event.
#WhileWeBreathe: Marked as a Night of Creative Protest, the event was created in the brains of two creators Brian Moreland (“A Real Lifetime,” “Blue”) and Arvind Ethan David (“Jagged Little Pill”), and appeared as many members. Someone in the theater community is looking for ways to get involved at a time when the murders of George Floyd, Brecona Taylor and Ahmed Arberry are drawing more attention to issues of social justice. After Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, Moreland began searching for ways to use his platform to draw attention to the issue.
“I reached out to all my colleagues on Broadway and asked them to talk, talk and say something,” Moreland said. “I felt we needed to do more.”
David responded to the call and reached out to Moreland that they had offered to join the force.
“We write every writer, every director of color that we know and say something that responds to the moment,” David said. “Use your voice.”
To that end, #WhileWeBreathe: A Night of Creative Protest will include Lee Edward Colston II (“The First Deep Breath,” “For Life”), Arvind Ethan David (“Dark Gentile’s Holistic Detective Agency”), and Cheryl’s new compositions. Bones, “” Law and Order: SVU “), Nathan Alan Davis (” Nut Turner in Jerusalem, “” Sorry for your loss “), Steve Harper (” God has befriended me, “” American crime “)), Bianca Samus (” At the end of the river, “” Attracted “), Keenan Scott II (” Thoughts of a Colorful Man, “” A Love Tale “), Orin Square (” Fire Season, “” Good Fight “), Khari Wyatt (” Stumping in the Love of Sugar, “) At least 11 world premiere short essays were written between “” Afrikaana! “) And Karen Zacharias (” Native Gardens, “” Destiny of Aspiration “) and were made to comment on political movements spread across the country.
Directors Steve Broadnax III (“The Hot Wing King,” “Hip Hop Project”), Bianca La Verne Jones (“Armed, Fest”), Patricia McGregor (“Lights Out,” “Not King Cole,” The Publics “Hamlet”) ), Talent Parmar (“Nina’s Heavenly Joy,” “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”) and Charles Randolph-Wright (“Motown: Musical on Broadway,” OWN’s “Greenleaf”). Casting is ongoing and will be announced in the future.
#WwileWeBreathe will premiere on the evening of July 29th. PT / 9pm ET Wellbreath.com as well as YouTube Live and Facebook Live. After the premiere, all works will be available for viewing.
The event was organized by NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. The Bail Project, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), BYP 100 Education Fund, Forced Trajectory Project (FTP), Justice Committee and Sany will raise funds.
Shannon Buck Davis is the editor-in-chief. Mandi Price Post Production Supervisor. The casting is by Venus Canani, CSA and Benton Whitley, Stuart / Whitley’s CSA. Digital marketing is managed by Situation Interactive. The legal representation of Pro-Bono is Sidley Austin LLP. Matt Ross PR correspondent. Special thanks to Le Dana Jackson, Niche Carr, Lisa Giffford and Olivia Sultan.
Both David and Moreland note that they are the exception to the rule on Broadway, they are two producers of color in an industry influenced by white powerbrokers. #WhileWeBreathe: A night of creative protest focused on highlighting national inequality, Moreland and David hope the social protests will inspire Broadway to change when it relaunches once its coronavirus is gone.
“People across the industry need to open doors and put more colored people on their plays and their musical instruments and force them to write and direct their shows,” Moreland said.
“Right now, Broadway is a mountain in terms of biodiversity,” David added. “You go to the top and the bottom is a dark green, but you reach the snow line and then it’s completely white.”
#WwileWeBreathe made the following statement:
We, a group of BIPOC artists and allies, are unconditionally committed to the interrelated structural end of police and state brutality, institutional racism and racist and economic injustice, both in the wider world and in the theater and entertainment industries.
These issues have been with us for a long time and have been tragically exacerbated by the coronavirus epidemic.
We know that black lives matter.
We are hopeful that this crocodile moment can bring about reform and meaningful systematic change. We are inspired by the deadly energy of today.
We believe that as storytellers we have an obligation to contribute at this moment. We have the platform and the freedom and breath to speak the truth with power and to tell stories that reveal the common truth in all of us.
George Floyd cried, “I can’t breathe,” before Eric Garner and many more were uncovered.
We can breathe, and when we breathe, we will use these stories to tell our stories, and to raise awareness, to raise funds.
To shoot and change.
We have the power of words, they have fire, they have force.
When we breathe: listen, learn, act.