At TimeLine this week, watching and sharing in the pain and outrage being expressed across the country, we’ve remembered these words of playwright James Ijames: “Every time I think we have reached a point where maybe this play is obsolete. It’s suddenly not. And the violence with which that reality comes to me never ceases to take my breath.” He was speaking about his play Kill Move Paradise.
Directed by Company Member Wardell Julius Clark earlier this year, it’s about four young men. All Black. All taken far too soon. And all the victim of our country’s original and enduring sin of systemic racism. Wardell has said, “If we’re a theatre company that specializes in looking at the past to move forward, there is no better play for Black Americans at this moment … It is a call to action and a kind of living history of what is happening in our country.”
We recognize that igniting conversation with a play is not enough. The TimeLine family stands in solidarity with our community of Black artists and colleagues within the Chicago theatre community. To them we say: We see you. We hear you. And we will not be silent about the injustices you continue to experience.
Until a future when plays like Kill Move Paradise truly become a story of history and not one about the current society in which we all play a role, TimeLine will listen, learn, and strive to support all who are active participants in the ongoing work toward equity and justice.