revolutionizing the future of american theatre
Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive, Radically Equitable
The Fled is an artist Collective providing a radically equitable, anti-racist, anti-oppressive platform for theater artists — to build community, expand their artistry, and make theatre that is actively engaged in our collective liberation and the dismantling of colonialist practices and white ideals. With artists at the helm, particularly our global-majority and historically marginalized artists, we lead our community with curiosity, empathy, and celebration.
By prioritizing accessibility and the decolonization of art, we aim to create space for new audiences and innovate the way we organize and make theatre. Our marginalized and underrepresented artists must steer the ship – beginning with our Black artists, as well as our Indigenous, AAPI, Latinx, MENA, Queer, Trans, Gender-nonconforming, Intersex, Disabled, and the multitude of intersecting experiences and aesthetics therein. A space is only safe for all when it is safe for its most vulnerable members. We choose to share power and resources equitably and abundantly, and in doing so actively practice the values we espouse.
When we celebrate, serve, and lead our community with joy, we are Revolutionary.
The artists of The Fled were exiled from our former artistic home in the wake of calls for institutional decolonization of the American Theatre.
During the summer and fall of 2020, we, the Resident artists of a historically exploitative institution, stood together as a collective, led by our Black artists in a non-hierarchical structure. We asked for real, radical change that could serve as a blueprint for a new American theatre. After six months of negotiations, on December 4, 2020, over 100 Actors, Writers and Directors, received a message terminating all of our contracts. Though we were praised in the light, we received consistent pushback from leadership in the shadows. At the time, these incidents made us feel isolated and alone, but now we have come together as a collective and we are able to witness the full scope of these abuses. Our former home was but a symptom of the American theatre, which was sick long before COVID.
A theatre should bring strength and power to the community of artists within it. Yet we’ve found ourselves unified and strong in spite of – not because of – the institutional theatre. The American theatre failed us, refused us seats at their table, so we are building a new one and you are welcome to have a seat.
GUIDEPOSTS FOR OUR WORK
- Equity. We value people over profits.
- Non-hierarchy. Institutions are strongest when the power is in the hands of the many.
- Liberation. We center BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists and stories.
- Representation in Leadership. Artists should be represented at all levels of leadership.
- Compensation. Art is labor. Artists and those who make their work possible must be paid a living wage.
- Radical Transparency. Our creative, administrative, and financial practices and values will be open, transparent, and routinely reevaluated.
- Accessibility. Our art should be accessible to anyone who wants to engage with it.
- Healing and Growth. Mistakes are inevitable. We will greet them with empathy and move toward repair. Conflict and discomfort can be fuel for growth and change. Both are necessary.
ALEX J MORENO
ALICE LUSSIANNA PARENTE
ANA P. SEMEDO
BAILIE DE LACY
DOLORES AVERY PEREIRA
GEORGIA KATE COHEN
HUNTER HOPKINS DUNN
KELLEY NICOLE DUGAN
SARAH ALICE SHULL
Future of The Fled: The Doors Unlock
The Fled Collective, made up of artists formerly affiliated with The Flea Theater, are announcing their mission, first season plans, and a new reparative relationship with the theater.
Beginning in February 2021, the Fled Collective and The Flea Theater engaged in a restorative process inclusive of facilitated conversations, mediated healing circles, and collaborative program design. The artist collective and theater have since established a positive path forward for a new partnership structure and mutually beneficial relationship.
The Fled is excited to be the inaugural Key Resident Company at The Flea, beginning in January 2022, marking the continuation of partnership and further restoration of this relationship with the theater. The inaugural residency is a reparative grant and partnership offered to a nascent company that centers Black, brown and queer artists. The new artist collective will function as an autonomous company and will receive a three-year residency that includes the presentation of work, $10,000 unrestricted cash support each year, $50,000 space rental credits each year, in addition to production and marketing support and resources to develop their new projects.
The Fled Collective identifies as an artist collective with non-hierarchical leadership practices, providing a radically equitable, anti-racist, anti-oppressive platform for theater artists. Their present mission is to build community, expand their artistry, and make theater that is actively engaged in collective liberation and the dismantling of colonialist practices and white ideals.
In response to this new partnership Dolores Avery Pereira, actor and community leader of The Fled Collective said, “The Collective is interested in finding solutions that offer alternatives to cancel culture and instead lean on restorative justice principles that may create lasting change. That is not to say we are ignorant to the fact that all wounds have not been healed. Acknowledging that is what keeps us in the room. Rather than putting our differences aside, we’ve put them on the table and intend to work through the hurt with empathy as our guide.”
“So much communal labor has gone into building The Fled in the hope that we can transform the American Theater. Transformation and reclamation are possible and we are seeing this in our relationship with the new Flea,” said actor, producer, and leading artist of The Fled Collective, Adam Coy.
“This partnership represents the culmination of almost 18 months of work on both sides” says stage and screen director Raz Golden, a leading member of The Fled Collective. “It’s ultimately an experiment in reparations in real time.”
“This is tremendous news, and we are happy to embark on this new chapter with The Fled Collective. We recognize this is absolutely the work to be doing right now. They are artists we are invested in, who we care deeply about and their artistry impacting the theater,” said Niegel Smith, Artistic Director of The Flea. “We also recognize that the practices, historically, at The Flea haven’t always uplifted these artists and their well-being. So working with The Fled, which is about the artist’s autonomy, and then turning out their own direction and interests, and having complete control over their artistic output, is completely aligned with where we want to take The Flea and our investment in these artists.”
Looking forward, the Collective’s inaugural season is being planned using an unconventional process based on experiments in community and democracy pioneered by Detroit Soup (and refined by gallery space Chinatown Soup), as well as methods developed by the Austin-based theater collective Rude Mechanics. Their upcoming work will fulfill the Collective’s three pillars of programming: Artistic Development, Theater Production, and Industry & Community Justice. The Fled Collective will later announce details on its upcoming season.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on The Fled Collective’s formation, inaugural season, and how you can join the movement, follow their social media accounts, @thefledcollective on Instagram and @fledcollective on Twitter. Questions or responses may be sent to [email protected]