The creators behind the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen have just announced that they will pledge $100,000 USD and use their voices to “undo an unjust system”.
The musical composers Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, director Michael Greif, writer Steven Levenson and producer Stacey Mindich have written a letter to the productions fans saying they hope to “help effect change both in our theatre community and on a national level”.
Speaking out about the systemic racism to members of the African-American community the productions creators said the following:
“We have spent the last several days listening to the Black members of our companies, our community, our country, and the world, as they share with us their pain, their suffering, and their heartbreak. These truths, we must admit, are not new. The systemic racism against Black people and communities is not new. A theatrical culture in which Black voices have been silenced and erased is now new,” the wrote in the letter. “And as we mourn the unspeakable losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, we recognize that the brutal murder of Black people is not new.”
“The shameful reality is that, for all too long, the injustices and inequities endured by our fellow citizens, our peers, and our friends have gone unheard and unheeded. The shameful reality is that none of it is new,” they added. “What must be new is our commitment not merely to listen, but to act, and to act now.”
Proceeds from the donation will be split 50:50 between two organisations, Color of Change and the Broadway Advocacy Coaltion. Color of Change is a progressive nonprofit civil rights advocacy organisation in the United States.
$50,000 is being donated to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, to sponsor an industry-wide “Continuing the Conversation” Forum in early 2021.
The creators highlighted “examining” their own practices and “looking inward, assessing the personnel, policies, and systems of our show at every level, in every department, and at every location.”
The letter finished by saying “Dear Evan Hansen is about community and connection. We will use our voice and our reach to apply those values in working to undo an unjust system. Even now, while our theaters are empty, our show will not be silent.”