We wanted to respond to the open letter and petition circulated by Woolly Mammoth asking boards to commit to deeper, more sincere dialogue with artists and staff. In the open letter and petition, Woolly Mammoth leverages the situation that happened at our theater as a cautionary tale to encourage theaters to sign on to the position. It is common knowledge that Victory Gardens Theater has been navigating significant challenges and changes, and significant change does not happen overnight.
First, we want to say that we fully share in this commitment Woolly Mammoth is advocating for and are happy to sign on to this petition to signify our continued commitment to deeper, more sincere dialogue with artists and staff. However, while we applaud Woolly Mammoth’s vigilance and passion to protect and improve the theater industry, we want to share our disappointment that Woolly Mammoth issued this letter and request without knowing the details of what happened – or even asking for these details.
For those who know Victory Gardens more intimately, it was apparent that the criticisms cast by Woolly Mammoth reflected meaningfully uninformed judgments regarding the Victory Gardens’ Board priorities and plans. At its core, this letter should have been a dialogue between two organizations with mutual values on how to deliver diverse and vital theater to the community. Since Woolly Mammoth does not have the full details on what happened at Victory Gardens Theater, we’d like to share more information of the events in the letter and correct the misinformation. The details are complex and track back to 2020, but below is a summary of events.