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Student Blog: Do You Hear the People Sing? They're Singing, and You Can Too

Some ways to get involved with the movement to build a better theatre industry (and a list of some great theatre TikTok creators)!

Student Blog: Do You Hear the People Sing? They're Singing, and You Can Too
Image from March on Broadway

There has been a lot going on in the theatre world these past few weeks, to say the least. Survivors bravely came forward with their stories about Scott Rudin, a major producer in both theatre and film, and his abusive behavior, as originally reported in The Hollywood Reporter. The lack of conversation surrounding this and other issues prompted Karen Olivo to step forward and announce that they would not be returning to her Tony-nominated role in Moulin Rouge. Around the same time, the controversy surrounding the gender identity of the character Jo in Jagged Little Pill also arose. After Karen Olivo spoke out, several others, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, began to speak out as well about the issues that are deeply ingrained within Actor's Equity and the theatre industry as a whole. This all led to the March on Broadway last weekend that was organized by Nattalyee Randall (@50milerunforjusticeprotest on Instagram) and Courtney Daniels (@randomblackgirllll on Instagram). The organizers also shared a list of demands on their Instagrams that I strongly encourage you to check out (and give them a follow!).

This is just a very brief summary of what's been going on, and, if you don't already know more of the story, I recommend this article. Some of my fellow student bloggers have also written about these recent events as well!

I know something that I have been thinking about lately is: what are some things that I can personally do right now to help and participate in this movement? Here are just a few answers:

1. Sign the petition

Made by @ucancallmesis and @paigeelevy-- click here to sign!

2. Attend the protests

If you missed the March on Broadway, there's another march coming up this Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 2pm at Bryant Park. This one was organized by @rodrickcovington. If/when you attend the protest, be sure to wear a mask! Click here for an Instagram post with the details.

3. Send emails and spread the word

The March on Broadway has a website with several helpful links to email templates, organized by demand. All you have to do is fill out your own information and hit send! You can also tweet Actor's Equity and share information on your own platforms! https://linktr.ee/MarchOnBroadway

4. Educate yourself

There are so many ways to go about this! You'll notice that on the Linktree there is a link to an article by Ryan J. Haddad about disability inclusivity in theatre and a link to read The Black Theatre Matters Bill. Other articles to begin with are the Hollywood Reporter exposé on Scott Rudin by Tatiana Siegel and Christian Lewis's article that explains that Jo in Jagged Little Pill was originally written as nonbinary, which was later erased. You can also follow the organizers of the March on social media, and check under the #marchonbroadway tag to see some of the speeches from the march! Another one of my favorite ways to educate myself is through TikTok, but we'll get to that later.

5. Support and uplift marginalized voices

Follow BIPOC artists, LGBTQ+ artists, and disabled artists on social media! Read and watch works by people who aren't just cis-het white men! Monetarily support these artists! There are so many ways to do this! Again, one of my favorite ways is through TikTok.

6. TikTok:

I, too, was hesitant to download it at first, but I have learned and laughed so much from that app! There is a huge theatre community on TikTok made up of people of all sorts! Some creators post educational theatre content; some post singing or dancing videos! There is so much creativity and information on theatre TikTok. I have compiled a (non-exhaustive!) list of some theatre-y TikTok creators whose content I enjoy and/or I have heard that others enjoy! Some talk about theatre sometimes, and some talk about theatre all the time! Some I've been following since my first few days on the app, and some appeared on my "For You Page" today! In no particular order:

@notkristenbell

@jeremyoharris

@kaishacreative

@joyamandalee

@itskatharinequinn

@brandon_powers

@dekontee2clay

@ohemmasue

@morethantracyt

@gavindpak

@broadwaydiva

@tnndynamite714

@genuinelygabriel

@monaswain

@ashleyhufford

@nick_t_daly

@broadwaybob

@lizadabale

@jennaonstage

@kaiyalyons

@juliegalorenzocoaching

@mytheatreschool

@noellemercer

@khaila.wilcoxon

@flynnosman

@nofearshakesqueer

@miacherisehall

@rjthecomposer

@reneeagben

@danny.sanchezz

@thoroughlymodernmolly

@gabriellajoy_

@gracekellykretzmer

@_jeshaunjackson_

@noah.502

@thealexnewell

@elidavidhamilton

@stryska

@max.heitmann

@reneemj

@half.hour.call

@Eli.4.the.world

@andrewbriedis

@goodyproc

@meganbowen_

@og_oliviagriffin

@themusicaldealer

@shannon_e_thurston

@keatonohkneel

@yearofthesm


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