Captain Astronaut Denise Takes The Wheel

scottydenise (2)
(Why am I naming days?)
7/27/14, Day 13,963: Captain Astronaut Denise Takes The Wheel

This day is so named because the Flux Creative Partners through a secret going-away party for our beloved Willy Lowry (the artist featured above), featuring a  short play (that might better be described as a crazy mash-up of inside jokes and past production references) called Captain Astronaut Denise Takes The Wheel. It was a beautiful night, celebrating a one-of-a-kind Creative Partner and friend.

I also almost finished the second draft of Faust, which began rehearsals last night (I missed because of the above), and engaged in online debate, some of it even fruitful.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 113 out of 132 days (Faust)
Spanish: 100 out of 132 days
Music: 13 out of 37 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Asked Obama and DHS Secretary Johnson to end the deplorable conditions for refugee children at the border;
  • Asked Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to oppose privatizing water in Detroit and make it a basic human right;
  • Ate vegetarian and added no waste related to food;
  • Signed a petition in support of five anti-human trafficking bills that passed the House and are now being considered by the Senate;
  • Apologized for a casting mistake that I made at the Flux Retreat that led to a great conversation with a key Friend of Flux;
  • Engaged in the dialogue about The Mikado and yellowface in Seattle–my c0mment to this article is as follows:


Thank you for this contextualizing entry into this important conversation. I’d like to second A_Rey’s call for a reframe of this dialogue that focuses less on white people’s hurt feelings and more on the dynamics of power and privilege at work here. This play would have been produced without any Asian-American artists as part of the creative team, and without any attempt to think about the consequences of that cultural appropriation and lack of equity, had Sharon Pian Chan not had the moral courage to eloquently speak her truth in a public forum. We should be thanking her for that courage, not criticizing her for voicing that truth in a way that makes us uncomfortable.

As a white person, I’d like to see more of us willing to show that same courage by admitting that we do sometimes act in racist ways, and that even when we don’t, we still benefit from racist, sexist, ablist structures of power that privilege us in so many ways. Please consider that the expectation that people of color should respond to acts of racism in ways that are “less accusatory, more informed and productive,” may in fact be a privileged expectation. Who could possibly be more informed about the impact of racism then someone who has been on the receiving end of it all her life?

Calling out behavior as racist should not be seen as nuclear when it is the persistence of racism that is so radioactive.

I’m thrilled that Seattle Rep is organizing a public forum to advance this conversation. Thank you again for participating in this important conversation, and for creating space for others to do so. Perhaps you and Sharon can participate in this town hall to discuss some of these issues in person? It’s amazing what can happen when this kind of dialogue moves from the often toxic, zero-sum-game of the internet into a compassionate in-person exchange. I know you both have the same goal in mind: a theatre scene where everyone can see themselves on stage and feel welcomed into inclusive, equitable theatre spaces. I look forward to all of us working together to achieve that goal.


Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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