On FebruaryÂ 25, The Global Theatre Project inaugurated its work in Los Angeles with a weekend that brought togetherÂ LA theater artists, audience members and students in support of the members of Belarus Free Theatre who have called on their fellow artists to help end the suppression of freedom in their country, which has been called theÂ “last dictatorship of Europe.”
The wave of American supportÂ beganÂ in New York andÂ Chicago, in the collaborative support of their theater communities to help extend the visas of the Belarus Free Theatre members by offering them performance opportunities.Â The Global Theatre Project brought Los Angeles into the movement with a live event at LATC and then the filming of several theater organizations and artists lending statements of support to their Bellarussian colleagues.Â The filming was done by students of Cal State Long Beach.
The cross-section of Los Angeles theaters included Ghost Road Company, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, the Actors’ Gang, Eclectic Company Theatre, Open Fist Theatre, Jewish Women’s Theatre, Celebration Theatre, the Road Theatre, Theatre Unleashed, Zoo District, Absolute Theatre, Fierce Backbone Theatre and Cedarburg Productions.
The actors who performed in the reading of Being Harold Pinter also addressed the Belarussian people just prior to their performance.Â These included John Sloan, James Cromwell, Ed Harris, Lily Knight, Eric Pierpoint and Tessa Thompson:
In addition, many of the audience membersÂ at LATC came down to the stage to send a message to the Belarus people.Â And American students from UCLAÂ met with a young Belarussian studentÂ Â who was looking to find a way to express her anguish productively on campus.Â They will be creating a joint event in the fall.