The letter we all need to read... feel,... and send! Send it to 2020. Send it to our fears, disappointments, and anger. Send it to ourselves. For having done this, we will find peace. Hope. Love. We will find Future. And Faith...
As discussed in our last meeting, this letter confirms that your employment with us will be terminated as of December 31, 2020. Pardon my being so blunt but I am beyond thrilled to see you go. We had high hopes for you yet you have been a disruptive presence pretty much ever since you got here.
The reasons for terminating your employment are as follows (in case I have not already made them abundantly clear):
• Despite repeated warnings, your performance over the past nine months has been dismal and jeopardized the success of the entire company. (I mean, seriously. WTF?) • Even after remedial training, your conduct with and disrespect of our most vulnerable workers has been unacceptable. Racism and discrimination will not be tolerated. • Your unprofessionalism and lack of ethics in the handling of our resources has caused unspeakable pain and distress to our shareholders and will continue to threaten the wellbeing of the company for years to come. • Your unwillingness to collaborate with your co-workers has made teamwork impossible, curtailing the impacts of everyone's efforts and undermining morale.
This decision is irrevocable. You are to clear your office and desk of all your personal effects by 11:59 pm on December 31, 2020, at which point someone from the Human Resources Department will collect your ID card and escort you out of the building. Once you are gone, I will personally make sure that your name is wiped out of our system. You will be to the company what the 13th floor is to a building.
In closing, I know I should thank you for your service and wish you all the best in your future endeavors but in truth, unless you develop a modicum of self-awareness and humility, I don't see how anyone could hire you again.
Chantal Bilodeau Board member
PS Your position has been offered to 2021, who officially accepted yesterday. She will start on January 1, 2021. Her qualifications and sunny disposition are exactly what we need to start this new chapter on the right foot. I, for one, cannot wait to start working with her.
Chantal Bilodeau Playwright and translator Interests: science, policy, art, and climate change
Chantal Bilodeau is playwright and translator whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, art, and climate change. In her capacity as Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle, she has been instrumental in getting the theatre and educational communities, as well as diverse audiences in the U.S. and abroad, to engage in climate action through programming that includes live events, talks, publications, workshops, national and international convenings, and a worldwide distributed theatre festival.
Playwriting awards include the Woodward International Playwriting Prize as well as first prize in the Earth Matters on Stage Ecodrama Festival and in the Uprising National Playwriting Competition. Her plays and translations have been presented in over a dozen countries around the world.
In addition to curating HowlRound Theatre Commons’s only recurring blog series, Theatre in the Age of Climate Change, she has written on the same subject for “American Theatre Magazine”, the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, Future Earth, and the World Policy Institute, as well as contributed to several academic volumes including, most recently, “International Climate Protection” and “Extraordinary Partnerships: How the Arts and Humanities are Transforming Society”.
She is currently writing a series of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight Arctic states and, in 2019, was named one of “8 Trailblazers Who Are Changing the Climate Conversation” by Audubon Magazine
"As a Québécois playwright raised in a minority culture and language, but now living in the U.S. and writing in English, I often find myself at crossroads – between languages, between cultures, between social classes. So I quite naturally take on the role of facilitator: I invite people who might not normally encounter each other to engage in meaningful conversation. I also feel passionate about using theatre to bring environmental and social justice issues into the public discourse; I believe artists can help define how we collectively shape our future. The creative and collaborative process makes us uniquely qualified to distill seemingly intractable problems down to human-size components. Given how polarized our society has become about the climate crisis and other social issues, narratives that can move us away from divisive politics and apocalyptic thinking, and toward compassionate listening, are urgently needed.
The rate of change in the Arctic is greater than anywhere else. Already, we are losing incredible riches, both natural and human, before we have learned to fully appreciate them. With the plays of The Arctic Cycle, I am trying to capture this moment in time, to acknowledge the transition, to bear witness to disruptions that are so massive that we will be struggling to comprehend them for years to come. Storytelling has always been humans’ way of understanding the world and themselves in it. Now that we are facing our biggest challenge yet, we need those stories to ground ourselves and propel us forward with an equal measure of purpose and compassion. "
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