Update June 1, 2021:
This month, we will begin 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 in daily and institutional practices and philosophies not yet mentioned.
Our programming committee has recently begun their work by looking at the upcoming second round of Walking Plays. They will then continue to examine the titles in our 2021-2022 season through an Anti-Racism lens. We anticipate that our 2021-2022 Season will not include 10 out of 12 rehearsal days, and that our system for incident reporting will be in place for the fall.
Our new Director of Marketing will join us this month, and will work on a more broadly inclusive marketing plan. Our ticketing policies will continue to support that effort. For example, we will eliminate student “rush” tickets, allowing students to purchase discounts tickets in advance.
The mission of the Lyric Stage Company of 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 monthly 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 by October 15, 2020. These will augment existing bystander intervention, de-escalation, and conflict-resolution training.
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 four new members to our Board of Directors. The nominating committee of the Board of Directors is organizing a meeting to discuss strategies for further expansion.
Our Advisory Council is leading a task force, which includes members of the Board and Staff, to identify potential consultants to provide us with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) education. Proposals will be presented to the Board and Staff this spring.
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. A staff working group has drafted a system of reporting and investigating a range of incidents, including racial in nature. This protocol is being shared with members of the artistic community and is intended to be adopted prior to the 2021-2022 Season.
In order to more fully reflect the communities of Boston we serve, we commit to producing no less than 40% plays and musicals by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) authors beginning with our 2021-2022 Season, hiring at least 50% BIPOC actors beginning with our 2021-2022 Season, and hiring at least 50% BIPOC designers beginning with the 2022-2023 Season.
We will increase our pay rate for non-union actors to be closer to their union colleagues.
A programming committee drawn from Board, Advisory Council, and Staff members has been recruited and will begin its work reviewing titles under consideration through an Anti-Racism and EDI lens in 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 recognize that our original statement was silent on necessary protections for front-of-house staff. We are surveying current and former members of the box office staff to better understand what resources would be valuable to implement.
Our next 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.
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 6.1.21
If you would like to share feedback regarding our Anti-Racism and Inclusion Plan, please fill out this form.