We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all the community members who came out to support the exceptionally talented Mark Miller and Nicole Farmer in their production of Love Letters last month. October’s Dinner Theatre was our first event of this kind and we are proud of our volunteers and our staff for putting in so much energy to create this meaningful experience in which the community could gather together and share a meal.
With that being said, we would like to extend a formal apology to each individual present and to everyone who chooses to be a part of our vibrant center for some of the languaging and content of Love Letters. Although the actors mentioned to staff that the play had some sensitive content, the script was not reviewed prior to the show. That was a gross oversight on our center’s part and is absolutely not the fault of the actors who chose to donate their time to us.
While some of the themes in A.R. Gurney’s play are definitely close to our values, such as love, humor, and connection, other aspects are absolutely not aligned with our beliefs. There is languaging that directly contradicts our mission of accessibility at Asheville Community Yoga, including racial slurs and homophobic sentiment. This statement is intended to take accountability for any harm that we caused by producing this piece of theatre. The reason we are including this piece in our newsletter is to be as transparent as possible, and we have also posted it to our website and social media.
We at Asheville Community Yoga have a lot to learn in regards to creating a safer and more equitable space for all, and are dedicated to the learning process. This experience has given us further opportunity to reflect deeply on our impact both within our own community and throughout the Asheville area. We believe that true Yoga can only exist in a space where everyone feels welcome and able to practice, and we are committed to continuing our pursuit of that goal. Please stay tuned for deeper conversation and more accountability about our organization’s internal work.