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Shakespeare Festival Teams Up To Address Structural Racism In Theater Industry

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The discussion group in episode 2 of "Talking Back." OSF's Nataki Garrett is on the far right.

Theaters are closed to live performances across the country right now, but that has not stopped theater artists from thinking about the future. The days when live theater was primarily by white people and for white people are long gone, and a joint project of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the organization artEquity considers the future.

The series "Talking Back" features conversations between BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) leaders in the theater business, about how theater can best serve and represent the society of today, without the racism of the past.

The group sessions were recorded before either the pandemic or the George Floyd killing and the demonstrations in response. Carmen Morgan, the founder and executive director of artEquity, hosts the conversations and joins the JX for an overview.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.