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Episode 6 •
Cyclone

Released January 15, 2021
Summary: 2020 was a wack year for all of us. On top of a pandemic sweeping the globe, the United States was finally forced to reckon with the racism entrenched in its heritage, ignited on May 25, 2020 with the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police. Rocked by a firestorm of protests, and with little entertainment or escape due to Covid-safety protocols, a group of theatre designers, directors, actors, managers and technicians, produced an open letter titled We See You White American Theatre, and laid it square in the public eye. The letter detailed the many transgressions accumulated toward theatre-makers identifying as Black, Indiginous, and People of Color, by the predominantly white American theatre in the United States, and has reverberated through management structures, teaching institutions and theatre producing organizations at all levels prompting a new, thorough, unavoidable level of public conversation and accountability.

Guests: Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., Al Heartley, Clint Ramos       Runtime: 1 hr 44 min


Episode 5 •
Barrier to Entry, pt. 2

Released November 25, 2020
Summary: Barriers to entry are everywhere, from grade school, to college, and beyond. How can we change that? What we’ve been told is that hard work and elbow grease are all you need, but the actual fact is that it takes much more than that to reach “success”. With this in mind, it was a privilege this past summer to have a candid conversation with costume designer Toni-Leslie James. Get your notebooks ready… class is in session.

Guest: Toni-Leslie James        Runtime: 45 minutes


Episode 4 •
Barrier to Entry, pt. 1

Released October 19, 2020
Summary:
There’s a lot of discussion about barriers to entry later in the journey toward success as a designer, but really, the most basic entry point, grade school, has some pretty high barricades of its own. In this episode, I speak with three high school arts teachers in Rochester, New York about what they’ve seen in their decades of experience, what they know now that they didn’t know then, and what we can do to make this career more available to people of color, and young people in general.

Guests: Christine Sargent, Trish Annese, Marcy Gamzon        Runtime: 1 hr 2 min

Released August 9, 2020

Summary:
In this episode, the second of two parts, Steve Jones, former Director of Production at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, tells us how he went from young lighting programmer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to well-seasoned Director of production at the Apollo Theatre… with a whirlwind eighteen-year stint working with music legend and icon Harry Belafonte in between.

Guest: Steve Jones        Runtime: 54 Minutes

Released July 29, 2020

Summary:

In this episode, the first of two parts, Steve Jones, former Director of Production at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, tells us where he came from. Beginning with his origins in Flint, Michigan where he started taking part in theatre activities in grade school, Steve starting taking theatre seriously after a sports injury sidelined him for the remainder of his college career. He walks us through his experiences in applying for grad schools, leaving Flint, Michigan, and his first big-time job in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Guest: Steve Jones        Runtime: 39 Minutes


Released July 12, 2020

Summary:
As a designer in this industry who jumps all around the country, way too often I hear the claim “I don’t know any other black designers.” Why is it that statistics in the arts and in general, on average, skew white? Why is it that in an art form where we pride ourselves simply on the telling of great and often entertaining stories, that the idea that African-Americans have not “taken-up” design for the stage, is still prevalent? And is there anything that can be done?

Guest: Kathy Perkins       Runtime: 43 Minutes