Just because the show has closed doesn’t mean it can’t continue to have an impact. The team behind Slave Play, whose Broadway run ended in January, has stepped up to the plate and pledged $10,000 to the National Bailout Fund, while challenging other productions to follow its lead. “For too long we have witnessed black bodies be made objects to consume and destroy by agents of white supremacy,” begins a statement posted on Slave Play’s official Twitter page, “as black people have been forced to fight for their right to be. This week across our nation black voices have yelled out as one to say ‘Enough is enough.’ The creative team and producers of Slave Play stand with voices across the world to say ‘Black lives matter’ with a recognition that the work we can do and have done on Broadway is very different than the work being done on the ground today.”
If you’re wondering how a production that has been closed for five months managed to scrounge up $10,000, Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris revealed that the funds, in part, came from money the production was originally allotting for awards season, which has largely been canceled owing to the coronavirus. “After seeing the amazing leadership of @constitutionbwy the producers and myself ransacked the funds we had squirreled away for awards season and donated to @NationalBailOut,” tweeted Harris, referencing NYTW’s What the Constitution Means to Me, which donated $6,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “We challenge other shows/institutions to do the same read the letter below.” Slave Play’s donation comes after a fraught week for the theater community in which multiple black theater-makers called out the racism within the Broadway community. Even though there are unfortunately no Tony Awards this weekend, Slave Play deserves an honorary Tony for consistently doing what the other girls have yet to do.