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BWW Blog: An Open Letter to Those Questioning Whether to Vote and Who to Vote For

(Especially if you love a person who creates and performs in theatre and the arts)

Hey! You may know me, you may not! That doesn't matter. What matters is my basic assumption about you, which is that you are an empathetic, kind, GOOD human being. You have people in your life that you care deeply about, maybe elderly relatives and mentors, friends, parents, other family members, and general members of your community that you wish success and happiness for, whether or not you know them deeply or at all. And chances are, if you're reading this, you either love theatre and the arts or love people who do. I heard you're considering not voting or voting for Donald Trump? Think about these people that you love who are involved in the theatre community. Hundreds of thousands of performers have been let go of their jobs, leaving them with families, children, pets, homes, and bills that they can no longer afford to pay and provide for. By the time Broadway is scheduled to reopen (tentatively May 30th), it will have been 15 months since the Great White Way will have been ablaze with the passion of thousands of performers pouring their hearts and souls into their work. We need a president who understands that the medical experts MUST be listened to. It's not a matter of personal preference to listen to science and health professionals about the virus that has taken over 1 million lives in less than a year. If we want to get back to performing, creating magic, and seeing others onstage, we need to vote for Biden.

We've seen what the current president has done with handling this virus. Even if you're only vaguely engaged in the news, you know that Trump has been very careless and selfish when he had the Coronavirus, as well as continuously declaring that the virus is a liberal hoax. He's even found ways to loudly disapprove of masks, one of the easiest ways to mostly prevent the spread of the virus so far. If you want the theatre industry to come back as soon as possible for the enjoyment of the general public, but most importantly, for the financial stability and happiness of the performers and artmakers, casting your vote for Biden is a necessity. This is not a "maybe I'll get to it" sort of task, this is a first priority. Not only does Joe Biden support gay marriage, but he also supports the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as a woman's right to choose. These three groups of people are all extremely valued in the theatre industry. If you participate in the arts, you know the value of all people, but especially those who have faced extreme adversity in their lives and manage to share their experiences and truths with the theatrical community via performances of all kinds. These are stories that have been silenced for so long throughout history that are finally receiving the space and platforms to be heard and learned from. We've all seen the senseless murders of black Americans throughout history, but this year especially. It's time we had a president who supports the fact that white privilege exists, racism is still alive and thriving in America today, and police bias and brutality is not a theory but a proven phenomenon since the founding of this nation.

If you support a person involved in the arts, if you enjoy watching actors on television or seeing live theatre, if you love someone who is queer, not white, or a woman, you cannot vote for a person that wants to take away their rights. That is not love, that is a performative shell of emotion that lacks the support of action. And by action, I mean voting and voting Democrat. Jobs are at stake. Love is at stake. Lives are at stake.

If you need assistance finding a polling location, use this website for help: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Marissa Tomeo