Diversity is finally making its way into regular conversations. The language is becoming more comfortable, and people in power are starting to acknowledge their role in creating more diverse workforce and material. That being said, diversity changes through actions and not just words. For things to change, the people with privilege must be active allies. This article from Playbill highlights steps people can take.
5 TIPS TO INCREASE DIVERSITY IN THEATRE
Villegas, Jones, Rubin, and France weigh in on the concrete actions to take to make theatre more inclusive.
1. Be proactive and participate in outreach to groups that represent actors of color, like Asian-American Performers Action Coalition or the African-American Artists Alliance, to bring them into the casting process.
2. If you’re a playwright, lyricist, book writer, or a creator, ask yourself if the race of your characters is relevant to the story, and if not, specify that.
3. Do your research on racism and internal bias before beginning the creative process. Understanding the history of these issues within the business will help create an inclusive and positive environment.
4. As an actor, be conscious of the roles you accept and be self-reflective about whether your racial or ethnic background or physical abilities would be appropriate for the part you’re playing.
5. Be careful of engaging in tokenism or promoting harmful or damaging caricatures. Truly color conscious casting gives members of marginalized groups opportunities to play real, developed characters, not one-dimensional stereotypes.
This is not a passive topic. If people continue to call for changes and increased diversity, more needs to be done than a group of white men grappling with which Tennessee Williams piece is the least problematic. We must do more.