A personal statement.

The taking of Black lives without consequence must end.

George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery; these are only the most recent names on a list that is endlessly, unbearably long. Again and again we witness the state sanctioned assault and murder of black and brown bodies. Families and communities have been pushed to the point of breaking.

America was founded on an assumption of white privilege. That assumption may have become more coded, more covert, more insidious since the successes of the Civil Rights Movement, but it can’t be denied. It is de facto school segregation, job discrimination, wage suppression, compromised health care access, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, and countless other ways. We must honestly acknowledge this in order to change that assumption. We must also acknowledge the ways we benefit from a system that ignores, suppresses and denies some while disproportionally favoring others — and by “we” we include ourselves as four white men in positions of power atop a cultural organization in New York City.

We must continue to reflect and ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions. How are we complicit in upholding these systems?  Where do we fail our co-workers and colleagues? What are we doing in the practice of entertainment to upend the system that denies equality and perpetuates violence? How can we as people, and as an organization, do better?

With intention, MCC has changed a lot in the last few years, increasing the diversity of its plays, artists, staff, board, and audiences. Our process of change in working toward an anti-racist culture has been messy. We believe we are moving in the right direction but we still have work to do to support and serve the artists, audiences, and staff members of color who are a fundamental part of MCC’s community, work and mission.

MCC is committed to our own ongoing examination of how we can undo the systems of oppression. We will:

  • Continue to invest in board and staff training in equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Develop and amplify the many and diverse voices of our Youth Company
  • Enhance our Public Engagement programs especially to historically marginalized communities through existing and additional partnerships
  • Continue our commitment to developing and staging voices of color
  • Work continuously to create a safe, anti-racist space to be shared by artists, audience, and staff
  • Acknowledge that whatever we do is a lifelong practice and will never be enough

We invite your thoughts and responses. You can email us at mcclistens@mcctheater.org.


Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, Will Cantler & Blake West

Artistic Directors & Executive Director

We have been watching and rewatching this commentary from Trevor Noah and want to share.

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