Statement from Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis
Thank you to all of you who have contacted Marin Theatre Company about our current production of Thomas Bradshaw’s Thomas and Sally. All of your comments have been reaching me, our staff, and our Board of Directors. Fostering dialogue is one of our primary goals of producing new American plays and we sincerely appreciate the time and energy everyone has put into contacting us through email and social media to share their concerns.
We have received much feedback about the original marketing image created for the production. We are very sorry for any pain the image caused. The original image has been replaced wherever possible with a photo from the production.
Many people commenting on social media have stated that they simply do not want to see this play and we respect that. Others have called for the play not to be produced at all; while I sincerely respect that opinion, I do disagree.
Marin Theatre Company commissioned Thomas Bradshaw to write Thomas and Sally in 2014, building on our commitment to producing playwrights of color whose work explores mainstream American mythologies, from robust classic plays by August Wilson to incisive new works by contemporary African American writers such as Tarell Alvin McCraney and Danai Gurira. We commissioned Mr. Bradshaw as a company and as a community of artists because we share a commitment with this playwright to challenge the truths, narratives and subconscious biases we Americans casually accept about who we are, and how we interact with each other and the world. We also believe that by facing up to challenges that confront our society, we can become much better individuals and a better people. These beliefs guide our mission and the selection of every play we produce at Marin Theatre Company.
We believe Sally Hemings and her family deserve to be part of our national story. Now, more than ever, we feel it is an urgent and necessary story to tell. We know this is challenging ground. Theatre is a space for difficult, important conversations. We hope that with Mr. Bradshaw, we have created a piece of storytelling that is a worthy addition to our collective narrative – a narrative about who the Hemingses were and how they navigated life as an enslaved family in our fledgling country.
We hope you will see the play and engage in a discussion with us and one another based on the content of the play.
Marin Theatre Company
Marin Theatre Company is committed to discovering and producing the best new American playwrights and their work through commissioning, development and production. Marin Theatre Company creates intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader world view. We believe in taking risks. We inspire people to participate in live theater, regardless of personal means. We celebrate and promote the intellectual curiosity of our community, and believe that theater can be an important tool to help people build empathy and create change in our world.
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