Nebraska Repertory Theatre And Black Repertory Theatre Launches #RealChange Collaboration
Updated: Mar 11
Published for NET News-Nebraska's NPR and PBS Station
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The Nebraska Repertory Theatre and the St. Louis Black Repertory Company in Missouri will launch their two-year partnership with the virtual event “#RealChange.”
Producing Director Ron Himes of the Black Repertory Theatre directed the play “Dutchman” at the Nebraska Repertory last year. He said his company was invited to collaborate after George Floyd’s killing, which made the Nebraska Rep realize they needed to make some changes.
"What we can do, what we plan to do, and hope to do with this collaboration, is to stimulate conversation," Himes said. "We think that through conversation, hopefully we can help to stimulate change."
Himes will also serve as liaison to a task force that aims to identify systemic racism within the Nebraska Rep and University of Nebraska- Lincoln’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
Christina Kirk is the executive director of Nebraska Rep and the director of the school of theater and film in UNL. She said there is no better time than now to redirect their energy to change culture, since they aren’t able to do their traditional productions.
"We're a theater that's in Nebraska, so we're predominantly white, but how do you make sure that you're exposing not only your students, but your patrons to the world as it is, which is diverse?" Kirk said.
Kirk said they’re committed to choosing diverse programming and hiring actors and staff of color. She invites everyone to tune in to the free virtual events.
"It's one thing to have a panel discussion. It's another thing to see someone's story rendered in time and space and somebody stepping into the shoes of another human and saying, ‘This is what it's like to live this," Kirk said.
#RealChange will feature a St. Louis Black Rep performance, panel discussions with actors and activists and more. The event starts tonight at 6 p.m. Central.
You can watch the program live at NebraskaRep.org. Their next event, “Baldwin and the American Theatre” will be on Nov. 6.