EVERYMAN THEATRE STANDS IN SOLIDARITY
with THE BLACK, INDIGENOUS and PEOPLE OF COLOR COMMUNITIES
To the We See You White American Theatre Organizers, our staff, our artists, and the wider Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) theatre community:
Everyman Theatre acknowledges that allyship is an action, not a title we give ourselves. This Statement of Solidarity and accompanying list of commitments represent where we have begun and will continue to implement the advocacy we promise. This list will evolve as we implement each change and prioritize new action items.
OUR STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY
Everyman Theatre is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive atmosphere at every level of our organization: staff, Board, audience, and artists. We seek to include, reflect, and give agency to the varied experiences of our community being mindful of the historically marginalized BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and ADA communities. We aspire to become an artistic home that is multicultural in representation and centered on anti-racist and anti-oppression practices. We have enabled racist and systemic traumas in our home. We have contributed to, and benefited from, systems of oppression. While we have worked to share power with underrepresented populations, provide space for marginalized voices, and standardize more equitable practices, we know we have more work to do. We commit to deprogramming our individual biases and dismantling, both internally and externally, inherited systems of oppression.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
We recognize how white privilege and racism are pervasive across all marginalized communities. Racism against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) is dehumanizing to everyone it touches. We believe that Black Lives Matter. For George Floyd, Freddie Gray, and countless others, we pledge to be a part of the solution. Theatre is an instrument for empathy and understanding, for hearing voices that challenge our own, for nurturing compassion, and for inciting change. Theatre brings people together and is one of the tools we will use to fight against dehumanization and oppression. We commit to continuing our self-examination as an organization. We commit to listen. We acknowledge our own imperfection, our lack of expertise, and the role complacency takes in compounding and perpetuating injustice. To Black artists, colleagues, audiences, students, and community... YOU MATTER.
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GRATITUDE FOR THOSE BEFORE US
We honor the Indigenous Piscataway, Lumbee, and Cherokee people of Baltimore City and the unceded ancestral lands of the Piscataway on which Everyman Theatre resides. This
acknowledgement does not take the place of authentic relationships with Indigenous communities, but serves as a first step in honoring the land we occupy and as an act of resistance against the erasure of their histories. We commit to discovering and building relationships with these Native communities as a plan forward with meaningful connections.
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African American Community
We respect and give reverence to the enslaved Africans whose forced labor built Baltimore during the colonial era and beyond. We acknowledge the harm inflicted upon the Indigenous communities and People of Color in our own neighborhood as a first step to support and promote more visibility to those communities moving forward. We acknowledge our role in the gentrification of West Fayette Street and the surrounding blocks on which we reside. We commit to providing a positive, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all.
OUR EXISTING COMMITMENTS
• It is important to us that Everyman be a mix of cultures, races and backgrounds. We seek to increase the diversity within all parts of the organization, onstage and off. Coming soon: Meet our Everyman Theatre family.
• The efforts of our standing Committee on Equity and Anti-Racism continue. The Committee is sixteen members strong and includes representatives from each department of the
organization and Board. The Committee works year-round to keep Everyman up to date with industry standards and engages staff and Board in ongoing conversation.
• We support all shows equally regardless of theme, casting or the space they are produced in. Everyman Theatre has two performance spaces in our building. We continue to provide equal pay structures for guests, artists, and designers in all shows and in all of our spaces.
• We are committed to the decolonization of language throughout the organization and have amended outdated position titles (Master, Chief, Foreman, etc.) commonly used in the
industry. We pledge to create a culture wherein individuals feel welcome and safe to self-identify, if they choose.
• We believe in fair pay for all guest artists and will continue our transparent practice of compensating for additional commitments such as donor events, post-show events,
talkbacks, etc. We encourage open discussion about pay scale as these events occur.
• We are proud of our ongoing reciprocal relationships in the BIPOC communities of Baltimore. Specifically, we have a concentrated focus on long-term audience and artist
development through our High School Matinee Program, including free transportation for students, Theatre Night for Teens (TNT), Pay-What-You-Can performances (PWYC), Child
Care Matinees, volunteer opportunities, Internships, and Apprenticeships. We also have a number of community partnerships and residencies including, most recently, The Baltimore City Office of Equity and Civil Rights. We look forward to deepening these relationships, strengthening programs, and fostering new relationships and programs within our community.
HOW WE COMMIT TO GROW
• We will remain steadfast in our goal of achieving true diversity through no homogenous team, staff, or rooms in the theatre, including rooms in which decisions are made. Varied
cultures, experiences, and abilities are welcomed in all our spaces.
• We are committed to keeping Equity and Anti-Racism efforts as a budget line item at the organizational level and expanding in future fiscal years.
• We will implement the practice of acknowledging the Indigenous and enslaved land that we occupy. We will include a land acknowledgement on our website, in our programs, at the top of our rehearsal process, and in curtain speeches. We commit to partnering with Indigenous communities to create public exhibits where patrons can learn more information about these under-acknowledged communities.
• We will provide on-going Anti-Racism Training to our full organization including executive leadership, independent contractors, Board members, and volunteers. Training may include bystander intervention, de-escalation, conflict resolution, and other necessary tools to address racism and harm when it happens. These opportunities will be shared with
regularity, including at the beginning of each rehearsal process.
• We will establish a Code of Conduct for all Everyman employees and visiting artists that fosters a supportive environment.
• We are committed to researching and strategizing additional accessibility initiatives.
• We will create BIPOC benchmarks for upcoming seasons (writers, production staff, creative teams, etc.).
• We will initiate the support needed by staff and artists to navigate difficult subject matters in programming, both onstage and in the rehearsal hall, including affinity spaces, counseling, self-care initiatives, and opportunities for mixers and networking.
• We will eliminate the “10 out of 12” technical rehearsal immediately and will work toward standardizing a five-day rehearsal week. We recognize that the current theatre practice of long technical rehearsals (rehearsing for 10 out of 12 straight hours) and six-day rehearsal weeks perpetuates and builds exclusion by unbalancing a work-life balance.
• We will provide clear and conscious casting statements for all shows that prioritize casting non-white actors when race is not an integral element of the character. Everyman also
strives to improve casting practices with an intentional eye on gender binary, diversity, and ability-conscious casting.