“Tall poppy syndrome” refers to a social phenomenon that occurs when an individual who is perceived to have achieved status, wealth, or power (a ‘tall poppy’), is metaphorically cut down, due to the assumption that this power is a zero-sum game.
We know that growth and success are not a zero-sum game; In high tides, all boats rise. (Or, in well-fertilized fields, all flowers grow.) We strive for equity, with a community of artists that bolster each other by investing in their growth and simultaneously bringing others along with them.
Formed in 2016, tall poPpy is an artist-led social enterprise that seeks to create systemic change in theatre. Co-founders Jeanine Tesori, Torya Beard, and Darren Biggart develop programs that widen pathways of diversity and inclusion. They bring artists together to create work, develop opportunities, and interact with issues that are relevant to the community at large.
The three of us have been collaborators for many years and in many settings. Our impulse to form a company was based on the idea that the systemic oppression that exists in theatre is a microcosm of the oppression that exists in the world. Solution-based and vision-driven, our goal is to gather a community of artists, one by one, who address inequities through various means. As these artists grow and bring others along with them, we all work toward action that instigates systemic, lasting change.