1) To provide a space for young people of color to grow as artists.
At E.A.T.T. we respect the need for development as artists, especially as young artists. We aim to create an environment in which our artists can teach, learn, and challenge one another through their engagement with racial dialogues and theatre.
2) To meet the goals of an “affinity theater”—a theater for a specific, marginalized community.
In schools around the world, affinity groups provide space and time for minority students to discuss their experiences with one another and develop a sense of community. E.A.T.T. would align itself with such environments, assuming the role of a true "affinity theater.”
3) To generate new material that excites, refreshes, and includes previously untold stories.
A significant component of our company fosters the creativity of youth artists, not just as actors, but as writers documenting their own experiences and critically engaging ideas of race, culture and identity. Such stories have not always been showcased on stage. We aim to provide a chance to validate our actors’ experiences, to show them and the larger community that our stories are as important as anyone else’s.
4) To redefine and erase certain limitations that actors of color face.
In the theater world, the majority of casting calls call for white actors only, thereby prioritizing one race of artists above the rest. Furthermore, actors of color often must resort to playing poorly written stereotypes and characters of color who only exist to advance a white hero or heroine on their journeys. At E.A.T.T. we view such limitations in theatre as discrimination. Our goal is to erase these limitations within the arena of our theater— a way of evening the playing field and giving our actors of color a chance in the spotlight.
Our Three-Prong Structure:
E.A.T.T. operates on a unique three-pronged structure. A typical season will include at least on of the following three productions.
The first production will be original material generated by our ensemble. This might take the shape of a rap-musical, a scene showcase, a full-length play or a medley of short plays, all originating from the minds of our collective company. Each First Course production will be guaranteed to have been conceived and created by our own young actors and will generally concentrate upon one theme or idea agreed upon by our company. At E.A.T.T. we take pride in providing a space not only for actors to act but for creative young people to come together and see a production through its full course: from the drawing board to center stage.
The second production will be a selected work that generally includes a cast of actors of color. By performing a piece straight from the traditional “Colored Canon,” we pay homage to the great writers, directors and actors before us who paved the way for artists like us. For many actors of color, seeing a play that had a role for people who looked like them was a pivotal moment in their careers. In our Second Course Productions we honor their dreams of one day assuming those roles.
Our third production will be a selected work from the classical canon that generally does not employ actors of color as leads. The concept of the Third Course production draws directly back to the conception of E.A.T.T., which arose from the co-founders disappointment in productions of classic theater that continuously excluded actors of color in this modern day and age. By redesigning these classic works and race-bending the roles, we affirm that actors of color have an equal right to theater and art as white actors do, and validate our presence at the metaphorical table of theater.
The diverse structure reflects the multitude of experiences our ensemble possesses.