Advocacy at Aurora Theatre Company
Theatre is a space of shared imagination. A space where stories allow us to relive and reexamine our past, and envision bold new futures. Theatre allows us the opportunity to step outside the boundaries of our own lived experience to gain greater understanding of our shared humanity -- to build compassion, empathy, and solidarity.
Here are the steps Aurora has taken and the commitments we make in the service of dismantling the systems that feed racism, anti-blackness, and oppression:
IN OUR COMMUNITY
- We will continue our Community Partners program, which connects us with new segments of our community, leading to more authenticity in our work, new audiences in our theatre, and new representation in our Advisory Council and eventually on our board.
- If our annual fundraiser surpasses its income goal, we will donate a percentage of that surplus income to organizations dedicated to anti-racism and anti-oppression.
IN OUR LOBBY
- We will continue to center our Commitment to the Community, which is intended to discourage microaggressions in our lobby and theatre so that everyone feels welcome in our space. We will review and revise the text of the Commitment as our understanding deepens and our situation changes.
- We will continue regular anti-bias and anti-oppression training for front-of-house staff, including bystander intervention training.
- We will create clear guidelines for front-of-house staff for responding to microaggressions, racist behavior, and questions about our policies.
- We continue the conversation begun and act on the discoveries made in Welcome To Our Space?: A Town Hall On Audience Interactions, exploring what theatres can do to discourage microaggressions.
ON OUR STAGE
- We will create an anti-racism policy sheet to be shared with all artists and discussed at the first production meeting and first rehearsal, and we will update the sexual harassment policy already shared in this manner.
- At least 80% of the scripts we read for consideration for production and development will be by BIPOC playwrights.
- We will increase the percentage of plays we produce by BIPOC playwrights. At least two of the six plays we produce each season will be written by BIPOC playwrights.
- We will continue our commitment to producing at least 50% female playwrights, and hiring at least 50% female directors.
- We will continue to commission and develop scripts by BIPOC playwrights.
- We will increase the percentage of BIPOC designers and production staff working on our productions.
IN OUR ORGANIZATION
- We will continue regular anti-bias and anti-oppression training for our staff and board.
- We will actively recruit BIPOC board members.
- We will continue holding monthly volunteer Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion meetings, with staff, board, and leadership participation.
- We will report on and discuss anti-racism and anti-oppression activities as a regular part of our staff meetings.
- We will view our strategic planning process through an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens, and will include a section on anti-racism and anti-oppression in our new strategic plan.
- We will adopt our new mission and values statement that includes a commitment to anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices.
- We will review and revise our employee handbook and all internal policies through an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens.
- We will review and revise our job posting language and hiring policies through an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens.
- Josh and Julie commit to listening without defensiveness when we are called out for failing to embody anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices.
- Josh and Julie commit to not using our fear of getting it wrong as an excuse to stay silent.
- We commit to reviewing and evaluating our progress at least twice each year, holding ourselves accountable to the commitments in this list.