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New Stage’s Statement of Solidarity

Black Lives Matter

We are horrified by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and mourn the loss of so many more Black lives. The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace. We are mindful of Mississippi’s dark history of racial violence and that for too many in our Black community, equity and justice remain elusive.

We believe in the importance of words and the healing capacity of shared stories.  Our work can inform, enlighten, and inspire. And sometimes, it should be unsettling. We support art that forces audiences to confront its own prejudices and recognize the common humanity that we all share.

When New Stage Theatre first opened in 1966, the full houses for the opening season were significant: they represented the city’s first racially integrated theatre audience. Ever since, we have been committed to presenting plays that explore our country’s history of racial injustice and fostering community discussion about how we can build a better society. We will recommit ourselves to these ideals of inclusion, justice, and shared humanity.

It is hard to see now, but the day will come for healing. We look forward to returning to the stage and seeing your faces in our audience when it is safe to return to the theatre.  Theatre can bring us closer together. Our hope is New Stage will help foster a more united beloved community.