BaseRoots is an action.
BaseRoots is an idea whose time has come.
BaseRoots is a collection of torch bearers, of historians, of visionaries…of artists. We are the Pacific Northwest's newest, professional African-American theatre company. We bring elite talent to the stage and a unique lens through which to view the world. In the twenty-first century, the paradigm has shifted. There was a time when America was not our home; it was just where we lived, where we struggled to define ourselves, where we looked in vain for acceptance and self actualization, where we fought, simply, to survive. We now live in the America of Michael Jordan, the America of Tiger Woods, the America of Oprah Winfrey. We live in the America of Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice, Stanley O' Neal, and Robert Curbeam. We live in the America of Barack Obama. For good or for ill, for right or for wrong, these are personalities that have altered the society we live in today. This is not to say that the obstacles of the past have faded thankfully away into the shadows of history but to say rather, that as African-Americans turn to face the coming millennia, we find ourselves not just the shapers of our own destiny but the shapers of the destiny of a nation, a world, of a city. We find ourselves fully invested in this nation and this city. We are citizens. We have earned our place here. Or more accurately, our forebears have earned our place here. We now find our future, our history, even our bloodlines, inextricably interwoven and our goals and our dreams unified with those of people of different histories, different accents, different ideas, and yes, different skin color. We find ourselves at last, to be fully realized African-Americans, who embrace the lessons of our past and apply ourselves to defining our own destiny. We're more than a theatre. We're a choice.
Rufino Tamayo once said, "To become universal, you must start with what is local". This is why our art must be rooted in the pan-African continuum. This is our palette with which we paint, our aesthetic with which we conceive. We can't speak to anyone's truth unless we speak to our truth. Our culture, our history, our soul … is what we bring to the table.
We offer a blast from the past and a vision of the future.
We embrace the world and all that it offers.
We're not here to separate, we're here to celebrate.
We're here to challenge, to excite, to thrill, to educate, to learn…and to listen.
We offer opportunity and integrity, talent and perseverance.
We're here to create fantastic theatre and use that as a tool with which to create a great society.
A Ghanaian master drummer, Obo Addy, once said that before the British came his people had no word for "art". This was because there was no difference, no separation between art, work, school, play, family, government, people, God. It was all life. Art was life. Art is Life. This is the founding principle of our theatre company.
Welcome to BaseRoots.