The New Colony Charts New Course and Changes Name
Longtime off-Loop Chicago theatre company The New Colony announced today it will change its name to The New Coordinates. The rebranding is part of a larger restructuring process to actively work towards being an anti-racist organization. Over the past year, TNC has revised its company structure, budgeting practices and development process, with more work ongoing. These efforts are publicly available through the anti-racism page of TNC's website with updates made on a quarterly basis.
In a joint statement, Co-Artistic Directors Fin Coe and Stephanie Shum explain, "Part of our work is to educate and examine ourselves, to be accountable to our history as a primarily white institution and improve the experience of collaboration with BIPOC artists. To that end, one of the changes we're making is the name of our company. It has been an increasingly awkward fit for some time now. It's a little absurd to call for de-colonizing theatre and its labor practices when it's right there in our name, in our communications, an odd sticking point in all of our introductions. How we represent ourselves says a lot about who we want to be; so we looked to honor our past along with our future."
Coe and Shum add, "This simple update is just the most visible component of a fundamental shift in how we work. Since the founding of our company, we have dedicated ourselves to the devising, development and production of new plays. The acts of creation, cultivation and curation are what inspire us, and what have allowed us to connect artists to audiences for over a decade. Now, with 32 world premieres in our history, we continue our commitment to creating and uplifting new stories you won't see anywhere else. We are evolving while honoring the intentions of our founders. New play development is not about staking a claim, but the new places we can go. It isn't setting ground rules, it's supplying tools for where our artists want to take the audience. Our mission is still the same; we still passionately do what we have always done, which is to tell new stories. But who we are, and how we execute the mission, can and will always continue to get better."
For additional information, visit the company's new website thenewcoordinates.org.