The two sides in a dispute over diversity at Philadelphia Theatre Company released a joint statement today saying they’ve held “productive and cordial” meetings following last week’s conflict over the “No More All-White Seasons” open letter posted on Facbook objecting to PTC play selections and staffing.
The statement said plans were underway for a private meeting between PTC and its critics, still with no set date. “We look forward to continuing positive conversations about the way forward,” they said.
The scathing letter that started it all was posted on Facebook April 9 by theater professionals Elaina Di Monaco and Haygen-Brice Walker objecting to PTC’s recently announced 2019-2020 season of three plays, all by white authors. Signed by 19 Philadelphia theater workers, it sharply questioned what the writers said was the theater’s lack of diversity on its staff and lack of transparency in it season-selection process.
Paige Price, producing artistic director of PTC, drew praise in the letter for the diversity of the current 2018-2019 season, but severe criticism for seeming to backslide in the coming season. Price responded that she shared many of the writers’ concerns and was open to meeting with them. Those meetings happened on Monday.
Here is the full text of the statement:
On Monday, April 15, Philadelphia Theatre Company Artistic Director Paige Price met with the authors of the letter, Elaina Di Monaco and Haygen-Brice Walker. Both of them met separately with Price for face-to-face conversations. The talks were productive and cordial, and centered around Philadelphia Theatre Company’s season selection process and also around creating opportunities for underrepresented actors, directors, creative teams, and administrators. A subsequent meeting is being organized, where the signers of the letter will meet in person with additional members of PTC’s leadership, to discuss how PTC can develop diversity and inclusion initiatives that can drive change. We also discussed a shared goal of expanding the conversation to other artists and artistic leaders in the city.
We look forward to continuing positive conversations about the way forward.