June, 2021 Edition
The American Theatre is Not Built for Us
by Monty Cole
Submitted by Gaby Labotka
ITA College Theatre Division Representative

Director/Writer Monty Cole, who recently taught the ITA Master Class: Directing from the Personal, writes about the history of the American theatre and the intersections of capitalism, race, communities, nonprofit efforts, and art that make up the foundation.
Graduation Reflections
by Richard Arnold, ITA College Theatre Division Representative

We just finished our graduation ceremonies, honoring the 2021 graduates, and now the world is opening up. What are you doing next fall? What plans do you have?
In-Person and Live
by Elisabeth Westphal
ITA Creative Drama Division Representative

I have had the pleasure this year of advising fellow theatre teachers about reopening their productions. I am not an expert but I have spent the last year working with the American Alliance for Theatre and Education K-8 teachers around the country and we have talked and dreamed endlessly about what our new normal will be.
Five Lessons that the TYA Field Needs to Learn from Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical (Or, Why You Should Be Paying Close Attention to the TikTok Musical Movement)
by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, Executive Director of TYA/USA
Submitted by Cassandra Quin
ITA Theatre for Young Audiences Division Representative

Chapman does a tremendous job of outlining why it is vital for us to tune in, adapt, and embrace the ways in which young people create and engage in creative content. In the article he shares, "Considering we are a field focused on serving young audiences specifically, we need to pay extra close attention to a theatrical revolution that is being led by Gen Z, in a virtual space that they have far more fluency in than most adults."
Why is Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Important?
by The Native Governance Center
Submitted by Don Shandrow
ITA Community Theatre Division Representative

While attending a virtual theatre conference someone asked, "Why Indigenous Land Acknowledgements?" It was a question that was followed up by, "Do we have to do it because it is some kind of proclamation or Presidential decree?" The questions were so many that I think it's appropriate to provide clarification and answer the question of why we state our theatre's Indigenous Land Acknowledgement before each performance of a production, before official meetings, and on our theatre websites.

I hope these passages along with the attached article will answer those questions.

“It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.” Northwestern University

“When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)

If you, or your Community Theatre, still feel uncertain about this, reach out to the Illinois Theatre Association Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Culture Committee or to your ITA Community Theatre Representative.
Make Your Voice Heard: Your Guide to Becoming a Theatre Education Advocate
by James Palmarini, Dramatics Magazine
Submitted by Nathaniel Haywood
ITA Secondary School Theatre Division Representative

Theatre is vital for our students! Theatre is vital for our communities! Theatre is vital for our society! These statements may seem like preaching to the choir, and it's true - we don't need to say them to each other; we need to say them to the people and organizations that have the power to maintain, or take away, the funding and support that allows us all to create our art. It's not a guarantee; like anything else worth doing, theatre needs to be fought for. This article provides some straightforward steps that you can take with your school or theatre group to take an active role in advocating for the craft that we all love so dearly.
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