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Multiple Broadway Companies to Hold Racial Equity Workshops

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition announces the launch of its newest program, Reimagining Equitable Productions.

The broadway company of Company, starring Patti LuPone, will participate in the Reimagining Equitable Productions program.
(© Brinkhoff-Moegenburg)

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) has announced the launch of its newest program, Reimagining Equitable Productions (REP). BAC will initially work with the companies of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and Company. Disney Theatrical Productions will be working with BAC on a customized pilot process alongside members of the companies of Aladdin (Broadway), Frozen (Tour), and The Lion King (Broadway & Tour). These custom workshops are designed to address the ways that racial inequalities pervade the rehearsal rooms and performance spaces of the American Theatre.

Many of these issues were identified during the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Again forum, which took place amid a summer of mass street protests for racial justice. BAC has created a process inspired by its Theater of Change course at Columbia Law School. The program leads companies through a process of understanding internal patterns of inequity, developing new ways of collaborating, and generating individualized and collective plans for meeting those aspirations and currently unmet needs.

"The industry is finally awakening to the importance of utilizing the first day of rehearsal for naming a standard of equity within the workplace and measures of holding that standard accountable," said co-founder and president of BAC Britton Smith. "REP encourages producers to provide a space to create a set of values with their cast and crew to enable everyone's full participation in the workplace."

REP creator Leia Squillace added, "As reopening comes into focus we must now move beyond our vision and into action and execution, into a place of providing the support required to get everyone to meet those standards. REP is a process that recognizes that change happens in little moments, in developing trusting relationships, and in acknowledging that making lasting change is as necessary as it is challenging."

REP was developed by Britton Smith (Be More Chill, Shuffle Along), Zhailon Levingston (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Leia Squillace (Community Partnerships for Roundabout Theater Company) and Columbia Law School professor and Director of the Center for Institutional and Social Change Susan Sturm.