Pillsbury Theater Combats Anti-Blackness

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the theater company created a pop-up pantry to serve the needs of neighbors. The company regularly partners with artists on projects that confront pressing community issues.

Pillsbury Theatre in Minneapolis has just closed its season with Aleshea Harris’ What to Send Up When It Goes Down. The play sets out to disrupt the pervasiveness of anti-Blackness and rejoice in the resilience of Black People throughout history. The show marked the directorial debut of Pillsbury’s new artistic producer, Signe Harriday.

“We are trying to meet the needs of our community with love and respect, [while] helping to build the world that we need and want and deserve,” said Harriday.

Harriday calls theatre one of last remaining cultural experiences where a broad spectrum of people can gather together. In an increasingly segregated community – whether it’s by race, class or politics – she says such gatherings are a ‘radical act.’ 

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the theater company created a pop-up pantry to serve the needs of neighbors. And the company regularly partners with artists on projects that confront pressing community issues.

“Our industry has hoarded resources so that certain stories are elevated or overrepresented on the stage and support the status quo, which has diminished our humanity.  So institutions like Pillsbury are in the business of restoring and storytelling such that the theater is a place where we get to vibrate and echo back our humanity – that we get to see ourselves represented.” 

Pillsbury is currently seeking applicants for the McKnight Community Engaged Artist Fellowship, an annual program that supports artists with personal and monetary resources.  The application is open to all Minnesotans and is due Oct 15.

Photos Courtesy of Pillsbury Theatre

Chicago  Avenue Project (CAP) : Free 7-week course in acting and script writing for children.

Naked Stages: Mentorship opportunity for early career performance artists in Minnesota.

Subscribe to hear Daily Updates in your podcast feed

SpotifyApple PodcastsRadio PublicGoogle Podcasts