here to read more about their story. And here to sign a petition in support of the Belarus Free Theatre.
The local reading was held at ICT's Ruddy Seppy Rehearsal Studio and had a number of Dallas-area actors on-hand participating and a small audience of supporters showing solidarity.
The reading was organized by Chris and Dan of the StageDirectionsBlog.com and Bill Fountain, Artistic Director of Ground Level Arts. To hear a summation of the evening via podcast, including myself speaking a bit, click here.
I rarely get involved with "political theatre" projects, per say, since my core belief is that theatre (and other arts, in that vein) can't really change the world. People can change and with individual change comes institutional change which can, potentially, change the world. It is a slow process and theatre, in and of itself, plays only a very tiny part in the process of large scale change. Theatre reflects change, it doesn't lead it. At least not politically.
In this case, with the Belarus Free Theatre, when human rights violations are taking place and fellow artists are being blacklisted, beaten, jailed, and censored, the situation strikes me on a human level. I feel the slight urge to stand up to evil dictatorships and political corruption, but only in the abstract. What I can put my support behind is the more specific dilemma: individual artists should be allowed to express their art. Period. I consider expression a basic human right. And it is in this regard that I participated in the local reading.
Plus, my friends Chris and Dan asked, and it seems important to them. So my support is kinda unilateral.