Lyric Stage Boston Anti-Racism and Inclusion Plan

Update October 6, 2021:

We have begun our work with Re|Fresh Strategies and Conditioning Leaders. We anticipate that the work we do with them over the next 12-18 months process will result in a re-examination of the goals and changes outlined in the statement below, as well as institutional practices not yet mentioned.

The mission of Lyric Stage Boston is to provide a cultural gathering place for the City of Boston and its neighboring cities and towns. To fulfill that mission, we will actively recruit representatives from the full spectrum of our communities for membership on our Board of Directors and the Advisory Council, for serving on the professional staff, and for joining our audiences.

This living document is meant to address who we are as the Lyric Stage, and to open our doors more widely. The plans outlined below will be reviewed quarterly at Staff and Board meetings, with regular updates on our website. 

Our statements of Anti-Racism, including land acknowledgements, will be incorporated into Board meetings, rehearsals, and performances. We commit to implementing mandatory Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Anti-Racism training for our full- and part-time staff, Board, Advisory Council, and volunteers beginning on October 15, 2020. These will augment existing bystander intervention, de-escalation, and conflict-resolution training.

Beginning this season, we are piloting a program where a BIPOC design student will work as an Associate Designer, introducing them to the community and processes of working at our theatre.

Our Director of Marketing has launched a more broadly inclusive marketing plan for all productions. Our ticketing policies support that effort, which has resulted in Lyric For All, a series of affordable options for ticket buyers. We have eliminated student “rush” tickets, allowing students to purchase discounts tickets in advance and have started a $30 Under 35 program.

As our work continues, we will seek feedback from artists and our audiences through surveys, discussions, interviews, and provide opportunities for sharing anonymous and non-anonymous feedback. Because of the incomplete nature of this document, we encourage readers to click here to provide suggestions for how we can improve both the plan itself and the work described. 

Our Board of Directors and Advisory Council:

Our Board of Directors adopted new criteria for membership in the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council that balances professional skills with life experiences that better represent the communities from which we draw our current and future audiences. We have elected six new members to our Board of Directors. 

Our Artistic Practices:

We commit to adopting rehearsal and performance policies that better value the time and talent of artists who choose to work with us. Starting with the 2020-2021 Season, we will extend the option of submitting digital auditions, hold callbacks at a greater variety of times, eliminate the 10 out of 12 rehearsal days, and move from a six-day to a five-day rehearsal week.  We have adopted a new system of reporting and investigating a range of incidents, including those racial in nature, which a staff working group and several artists collaborated on.

Though we anticipate that we will not reach our initially stated goals of 40% plays and musicals by BIPOC authors, at least 50% BIPOC actors, and at least 50% BIPOC designers for the 2021-2022 season, we continue working towards these goals for the future. We will increase our pay rate for non-union actors to be closer to their union colleagues. We are reviewing pay rates for all of our hourly employees.

A programming committee drawn from Board, Advisory Council, and Staff members have been reviewing titles under consideration through an anti-racism and EDI lens since January 2021.

Our Hiring Practices:

We commit to more aggressively promoting new opportunities in publications aimed at BIPOC communities, starting immediately. We will include starting salaries in all job descriptions and will increase pay transparency for both administrative and artistic staff. We will remove artificial barriers in our job application requirements, and will encourage applicants to demonstrate their skill sets through video or design samples. 

We will review job descriptions to ensure that our front-of-house staff focus on creating a welcoming environment.

By the end of 2021, our full-time staff will be at least 40% BIPOC.

Our Front of House Staff:

We are developing a system to strengthen the relationship of House Managers and Stage Managers to better empower our Front of House staff to report and address incidents as they arise. We have reassessed the hourly rate and raise structure for our Front of House staff, implementing raises and a new hourly rate of $15.25 an hour. We are assessing ways to better integrate our FOH staff with our full-time staff, board and advisory council through professional development opportunities.

Our Audiences:

Our Director of Marketing will work with the Staff and Board to create a marketing plan that expands the use of digital platforms and more authentic relationship building with community partners. We will prioritize publications aimed at BIPOC communities for all productions throughout the season, and empower BIPOC artists with decision-making in the use of images of themselves.

We will expand existing ticketing programs that provide a range of ticket prices with no restrictions on the buyer’s ability to buy the best available seat, and add discount programs focused on youth through Lyric For All: Affordable Price Options. 

We commit to redirecting more marketing resources to reaching BIPOC audiences. We will hold space for BIPOC audiences and affinity groups during every production and will invite more community organizations to leverage our space and productions to create mutually beneficial programming. Interested community groups are encouraged to click the comment link above or reach out directly to any member of the full-time staff for details.

We will balance donor or subscriber opportunities with exclusive events aimed at new audiences.

Our pre- and post-show materials will more thoughtfully guide our current audiences to view production choices through an Anti-Racism lens and post-show discussions will curate more Anti-Racist and inclusive topics.

Last updated 10.6.21

If you would like to share feedback regarding our Anti-Racism and Inclusion Plan, please fill out this form.

Read our archived plan as of 6.1.21

Read our archived plan as of 8.12.20