An Important Letter from the President

JULY 16th, 2020

Dear Alumni and Circle of Inequity:

 

I have carefully read your letter and all of your stories of inequities.

What you express and detail is intolerable.

 

While this is the first time these disturbing micro and macro injustices have been brought to my attention, as President of Circle in the Square Theatre School, I take full responsibility.

 

I, along with Susan Frankel, am enacting an immediate investigation, exploration, and reflection to do the crucial inner/outer work to set up a Strategic Plan for addressing all that you so courageously express and identify.

 

As president, I am committed to implement profound and immediate change in addressing all of the inequities stated in the students’ list of demands and to bring restorative justice to our students and institution. I hear you and we are responding and taking action.

 

Issues for Transformation and Change:

  • Bring change to oppression and abuse of power of past and present policy;

  • To end the silence and inaction to racial trauma;

  • To end cultural appropriation and systematic racism;

  • To radically revise the curriculum of our education;

  • To cease denial of BIPOC truths and experiences;

  • To cultivate faculty education of diversity;

  • To end the false neutrality of a white narrative, and to put an end to the status quo of the dominance of white, Euro-centric storytelling;

  • To end the disregard of students’ voices and complaints; 

  • To create safe zones of a secure environment for BIPOC and LGBQT+ voices;

  • To hiring BIPOC and LGBQT+ faculty;

  • To bring full and complete accountability and transparency to our plan of action;

  • To develop a timeline for all of these actions;

AND

  • And to do the internal work necessary to end all forms of white supremacy.

 

In order to institute these changes, we will:

  • Bring in third party investigators;

  • Remove faculty who are not committed to these changes;

  • Make a formal apology to alumni and current students;

  • Commit to bring diversity to admissions and alumni affairs;

  • Implement inclusion and diversity training for staff and students;

  • Address issues of access to mental health counseling;

  • Make a statement of intention and a Strategic Plan for Diversity and Equity from Circle in the Square Theatre School prior to the academic year;

  • Confer individual statements of intention from all faculty;

  • Make concerted efforts to outreach to alumni regarding auditions;

AND

  • To actively practice anti-racism in all forms of our theater’s operations.

 

AMENDED JULY 22 2020

In addition, we are forming a curriculum review committee without delay to consider profoundly revising our curriculum to be inclusive, diverse, and representative of the multiplicity of voices working in the dramatic arts and reflecting the world we are living in today. We would like to include faculty members, students, alumni, administrators, and BIPOC and LGBQT+ playwrights and theatre artists from outside the organization in this crucial dialogue and in the future of Circle in the Square Theatre School. We welcome any recommendations of possible participants for this committee.

We are committing to two mandatory Zoom meetings of the full faculty with Circle of Inequity that will take place next week with a POC moderator. The first meeting will be one of listening to the students’ voices only, at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 27. The second meeting will be an open dialogue and a space for the faculty to express their concerns and to begin creating a safe zone for initiating a plan of action for how the school will go forward in the future, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28.

 

This is a great opportunity for Circle in the Square Theatre School.

 

We look forward to working with you to expand our vision and commitment to reimagining our goals, our hopes, and our possibilities for the future.

 

We are here to listen and to act.

 

Paul Libin

Susan Frankel

President

Chief Operating Officer

Circle in the Square Theatre School