The

Sunset Players

Where OUR stories are LIVED, & TOLD through the power of the arts & digital media. 

 
Our Mission & Motto

"Don't Wait For Opportunities; Make Them Yourself"

The Sunset Players strive to create opportunities where they’re needed most. From adapting popular children's movies into stage productions to developing original works. We are enacting change by bringing inspiration through the arts, to underrepresented communities in The Greater River Valley and Columbus area.

A Letter from Our Founder

After experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and the immense amount of racial tension that was coursing throughout America’s veins simultaneously, I found myself at a stand-still with myself and my identity as a Black Artist. The dilemma I had was this. Since I was struggling as a Black American, I turned to my art and writings to heal, and hopefully, connect myself with others that can share my love and frustrations. After only 18 years of life, I had encountered racism in my day to day, collegiate, and artistic life, and honestly, it was exhausting. The only thing that kept me going artistically was the memory of a talk back I had attended, a month before, for the show Fences at The Springer Opera House, which starred my acting teacher, at the time, Beth Reeves. After watching the Pittsburgh set and Maxson’s family’s 1950s life unfold before my eyes, forever changed how I viewed the arts. The talk back included Director Keith McCoy and the cast of FENCES. Keith was aware of the racial mistreatment within the CSU Theatre Department and decided to give us some insight on our situation. He sat and listened to students talk about how we didn’t feel seen in the arts as a whole and it was all the more discouraging to face it at Columbus State University. Keith gathered the courage to tell us the hard truth, the way things would never change if we continued to wait for the very people oppressing us to change them. He continued to emphasize that if you ever feel like there aren't opportunities for you in the world or in art, you have no choice but to create them not just for you but for the countless people that will follow in your footsteps. In the months to come, I sat in my room talking on the phone with countless friends on how we can make the spaces we occupy safe and inclusive for all people. I decided to write an essay titled ‘A Letter to America’, and, after posting it on my Instagram, I saw my social media flood with love, questions, praise, and support. This is when I knew that the things I had to say were important to so many others as well. Once I felt like I was writing for a purpose, and I had people who would listen to what I had to say. I didn’t stop writing, and out of my writing came strength. I went on to start WE ARE AMERICA with Co-Founders, Kristen Harold and Da’Naja Ellerby, where I led multiple protests throughout the metro ATL community, and connected people from all different walks of life with resources to support Black Americans today. We worked tirelessly all Summer and by July we realized that when August came and school with it, we didn’t necessarily know what that meant for us or WE ARE AMERICA. We knew we didn’t want to stop, but a pause was mandatory for our mental healths. When WE ARE AMERICA paused, I had to ask myself how my school environment is different based on not just the looming health pandemic, but also the racial epidemic that had its own roots in Columbus. I thought about what the point of theatre even was, and if it was possible to live in a world that didn’t just see me as a theatre student, but as a Black and LGBT+ Theatre Student. I called up Guianna Inoa Nunez, who was immediately on board. After some brainstorming we settled on The Sunset Players. 


 

With Love, 

                   Jayden Hasberry

 

Interested In Working with The Sunset Players?