We support Stage Right. We support current Stage Right students, families, staff, and volunteers. We support former Stage Right students, families, staff, and volunteers. We celebrate the good experiences that many have had at Stage Right, and as many of our stories show, we too have had some good experiences. We also are not in competition with anyone and are glad that those whose experiences at Stage Right! have not included experiences such as ours have created a forum like ours where they can share their own stories. We want to see Stage Right succeed under new, responsive, transparent, and accountable leadership. We believe that Stage Right is a valuable asset to the students and arts community of Westmoreland County.
From the beginning, our single goal was to prevent current and future students from the pain and suffering that so many of us have had to endure. The testimonies on website are not the collective’s words to tell. These are stories that have been submitted to the website by individuals, most of whom, were from outside of our collective. We understand that some of these stories are very hard to read. They were equally difficult to publish.
With some of the posts we struggled with whether to change the words because of their sensitive nature, but these are not our stories. We do not have the right to change the words of victims who are coming forward after sometimes more than a decade of being afraid to speak up. We will not participate in the silencing and invalidation of the individuals coming forward any longer. As the stories show, fear of speaking up has been a major part of the problem.
We are deeply saddened that this platform was the only means by which to bring about change and offer anonymity for those who are afraid of retribution. Collectively we have been bringing these issues to the attention of Stage Right leadership for more than a decade. All our previous attempts at seeking resolution with the Board of Directors and administration were met with inaction and further gaslighting and have never resulted in any meaningful change. Public pressure is the only tool we have at our disposal to try to change this system. As Louis Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”