What Does “Your Pen. Our Sword.” Mean To You? by Cheryl Davis

Photo of Cheryl Davis
Cheryl Davis

What Does “Your Pen. Our Sword.” Mean To You? by Cheryl Davis

I’m in kind of a unique position here (as I hasten to point out whenever I’m asked to speak about artists’ rights). I’m both a writer and an attorney who works to protect writers as General Counsel for the Authors Guild. While I think I’ve got a pretty cool sword of my own, a lawyer-playwright who represents herself has a fool for a…you get the gist.

Recently, I have been thinking more and more of ways in which I can use my writing powers for good. In ways in which I can support causes in which I believe most heartily. And, it has struck me, more than ever before, that I am part of a real theatre community that stands up for each other, and that can stand up for issues greater than ourselves. As solitary as we writers tend to be, we can work and play very well together when it comes to working on our shows—and we need to do more of that when it comes to the industry as well. Our pens are certainly mighty, but we are all stronger together than apart. The Guild takes all of our tiny swords and melds them into a saber (light or otherwise) that can fight for all of us.

CHERYL DAVIS received the Kleban Prize as a librettist for her musical Barnstormer, about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. Her play Maid’s Door won seven Audelco Awards, was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize, and was presented at the National Black Theatre Festival in 2015 and 2017.