Statement on Hate
A statement on the recent hate group demonstration at Seacoast Repertory Theatre
On the morning of Saturday, December 18th, The Seacoast Repertory Theatre was the target of a nationally recognized hate group. The Rep condemns hate. We condemn violence.
The Rep was scheduled to produce the 21st episode of “Honey Punch & Pals'', a family-friendly drag queen story hour. The show features Honey Punch (the drag persona of Seacoast Rep’s Red Light Series Curator Jason Faria) and her zany puppet pals and neighbors reading wholesome stories to children, singing original songs of love, acceptance and being oneself, teaching important life lessons and entertaining children and adults of all ages. This episode of “Honey Punch & Pals'' was canceled at the last minute due to an impending snowstorm.
This message of cancelation, however, did not make it to the members of the NH chapter of a nationally recognized neo-nazi hate organization that planned a rally in front of the theatre to protest the show. This group of men, wearing matching black hoodie outfits and masks covered in their organization’s symbols, marched through the streets of Portsmouth, New Hampshire at 9:30am to stand outside The Rep, chanting with a giant banner reading “Drag queens are pedophiles”. They passed out flyers speading misinformation about homosexuals, AIDS, sexual deviancy, and Jewish people, including photos of members of our staff.
The Seacoast Repertory Theatre and its board, staff, casts, crews and contractors will not stay silent and let hate, ignorance and vitriol parade through our streets. We will not be deterred from our mission to enrich the culture and the community through the shared experience of live theatre arts. We will not cease to spread love and light through art and action.
On Saturday, January 8th, “Honey Punch & Pals” airs its next episode. We invite you all! Come together in the spirit of love, oneness, tolerance and joy. Raise up your voice and show hate groups that they are not welcome in our community. We insist on a PEACEFUL gathering in celebration of love. Come spend an hour with Honey Punch and her puppet pals “where being yourself is always allowed,” and show the world how much love our mighty city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire can radiate!
The Rep will always strive to create a world where people are celebrated and art continues to tell stories that make us think, imagine, cry, laugh, and love. Those stories will continue to celebrate the incredible diversity in this world.
We CELEBRATE love. We promote tolerance. We participate in the regular practice of improvement in areas of diversity and inclusion, not just in our organization but throughout our community and our world. We proclaim loudly that we will NOT tolerate hate in our communities. We ask our fellow community members to stand together and proclaim “No! Not in our community!”
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemöller 1946
Thank you for supporting Seacoast Repertory Theatre and its greater community!