An Open Letter to Corinth Theatre-Arts
My name is James Strachan and I have been an active participant in Corinth Theatre-Arts on-and-off for the better part of 18 years.
Over those years, I've done many things for this theater. I've been in countless shows. I've assisted in many productions. I've filled roles at the last minute. I've served on the board. I've even co-hosted the Maggies.
The prestigious awards that put a neat little bow on a CT-A season. The awards that pat those of you on the back that have demonstrated spectacular performances, shows, or technical prowess in the past year. The awards that have, for so long, snubbed me and my hard work.
For those of you that don't know, I have never won a Maggie. Despite all of my hard work, effort, and time dedicated to this theater, I have a single nomination to look at...from 17 years ago.
I can only assume CT-A's heinous sleight against me comes from a single facet of my character. A tiny, uncontrollable, and almost insignificant part of who I am has caused me to miss out on so many deserved awards and nominations.
It is because I am a James Strachan.
Take a look at the history of this establishment. In the course of the Maggies, has there ever been a single "James Strachan," me or otherwise, that has won an award? The answer is a resounding no.
I will not assume that the members of the board, the voting members, and those who support this organization have shared prejudices against James Strachans. That assumption would be unfair to all the aforementioned people. All I'm suggesting is that perhaps more attention must be turned inwards, so that the organization can evaluate its own beliefs and feelings toward James Strachans. Until then, I must recuse myself from the ceremonies.
After all this time, I cannot help but ask the question, "Is it time that I recognize how much power and influence I have amassed that I no longer need to ask to be invited somewhere?" I ask the question, "Have I now come to a new time and place where I recognize that I can no longer beg for the love, acknowledgment, or respect for James Strachans?" That maybe it's time I recognize that if I love and respect and acknowledge Jameses in the way in which I am asking others to do, that that is the place of true power? I'm simply asking a question.
Here's what I believe. CT-A has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose, and now I think that it is my responsibility to make the change. Maybe it is time to pull back my resources and put them back into myself, into other James Strachans, and maybe make a program for myself that acknowledges me in ways that I see fit, that is just as good as the so-called mainstream one? I don't know, but here is what I do know...begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. James Strachans are dignified people and we are powerful and let's not forget it.
So, I am going to let CT-A do them with all grace and love and do myself differently.
- James Strachan