Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Statement
The Department of Dramatic Arts is committed to sustaining an environment within our academic programming and the Connecticut Repertory Theatre that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We have adopted a number of strategies to support this commitment, and we continue to challenge our own assumptions about what progress means as we focus on academic and experiential practices that maintain the type of community, we all, students, staff, and faculty, want to be a part of. We welcome continued accountability and acknowledge that this process requires the commitment of each of us in the Department of Dramatic Arts. We invite you to join us on this journey!
Below are some of initial the ways we are engaged in this work:
- Expanding BIPOC representation across all of our academic work. This focus de-centralizes Western culture and theatre practice as the hegemonic approach to teaching the theatre arts.
- Requiring coursework from a block of courses focusing on diverse practices and histories as part of the core courses all students in the department must take.
- Expanding accessibility to the Connecticut Repertory Theatre through ASL interpreted performances and, recently, our first sensory-friendly performance.
- Supporting the Student Advisory Council, a collection of students from each program, graduate and undergraduate, elected by the students of each respective program. The SAC meets once a semester with the Department Head in an open conversation about culture, environment, and practices in both CRT and the academic programs.
- Addressing issues raised by the Affinity group of BIPOC students in the School of Fine Arts.
- Intentionally recruiting in high schools with predominant BIPOC student bodies with the understanding that a wide range of viewpoints and held identities foster an enriched learning environment, and that academic and artistic spaces have historically excluded this diversity.
- Instituting the Dean of SFA’s guidelines for a Diversity Advocate on each search committee.
- Requiring all final candidates interviewing for tenure track and full-time academic year contract positions to interview with the Drama Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.
- Committing to creating a season of plays that speak to the diversity of narratives, cultures, ethnicities, and held identities. Connecticut Repertory Theatre will be intentional about casting equity actors, hiring professional artists, and licensing playwrights across LGBTQ and BIPOC communities.