Social Justice at the Stratford Festival (A)
On March 20, 2020, in an effort to stem the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic and under the direction of government officials, Canada's Stratford Festival halted work on its 2020 productions and ultimately postponed the entire season. Additionally, social justice issues had come to the forefront with the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Watching the protests unfold across North America, the Stratford Festival's executive and management team recognized the pain their black colleagues were experiencing and set their sights on doing something meaningful to champion anti-racism. The executive team offered the Black Caucus and the Indigenous Circle-two informal groups of the Stratford Festival artists and administrators-the opportunity to take over the Festival's social media channels for a 48-hour period and to conduct a town-hall session on the Stratford Festival's YouTube channel. The question remained, however, whether turning over the social media channel was a prudent strategy, given the difficulty of predicting the outcomes of activities that start out with good intentions.