We are an anti-racist organisation. Everybody in, with or for our industry — people, partnerships or an organisation — needs to do more, MUCH MORE to work on anti-racism. Freelancers Make Theatre Work acknowledges the whiteness in our histories and our spaces, and our complicity in racist structures. We constantly commit to being actively anti-racist in our own organisation and to diversifying our networks. We encourage questions about anti-racism and the questioning of racism, with the acknowledgment that yielding space, recognising fragility, self-reflection and openness are all essential to deconstructing supremacism.
‘It’s not enough to not be racist. You need to be anti-racist.’ – Angela Davies
In this section, you will find a list of organisations working tirelessly to tackle racism in our industry.
The Anti-Racism Touring Rider has been created in Spring 2021 to establish the baseline of expectations between companies, venues and artists on a touring production.
Organisations and freelancers across the country fed into the consultation process for the rider and accompanying checklist, offering a series of actions for anti-racist practice and giving a framework for discussion and support before and during a tour. This toolkit was created is for everyone committed to change in the arts sector, irrespective of scale or remit.
This manifesto has emerged from Big Village – Digital: An exchange between 6 companies led by Global Majority creatives that work primarily with the body, in populist artforms like Circus and Cabaret.
After a four-month period of exchange, we have created a manifesto for action, so that institutions can better support Global Majority-led companies and create genuine long-term collaborative working.
The inclusive recruitment guide from UK Theatre breaks down the recruitment process to help you write a better job pack, to help you remove bias from your selection processes, and offer suggestions on where to post your job ads to reach a wider talent pool.
This guide is concise, actions-focussed, and highlights examples of best practice from existing resources (with specific page numbers so you can go direct to the relevant points). It also recommends organisations and consultants who can assist you with your recruitment.
Unlock gives arts organisations practical steps to take anti-racist action. Unlock has in it over 100 actions that will help creative work places become more inclusive.
The process is entirely confidential: at the heart of the Unlock toolkit is a commitment to give everyone equal treatment through trust, confidence, dignity and respect. Thank you for working with us to make diverse and inclusive change. This is a vital part in your creative practice.
Inc Arts Unlock is for: Dance companies, Independent Producers, Museums, Regional theatres, Collections and archives, Visual Arts spaces, Receiving Houses, Festivals and Outdoor arts, Crafts organisations – and more…
Bullying, harassment and discrimination have no place in our industry. These principles aim to eradicate such abuse and all forms of discrimination. They can also help employers meet legal requirements and offer a shared vision to promote and maintain a safer, more inclusive workplace environment for everyone working within theatre and performing arts.
All employers, employees, workers, trainees, volunteers, trustees, directors and freelancers should adhere to the following principles.
Who: A a community of freelancers who work in the creative fields of theatre who have been recommended by other freelancers. Therefore, it is a safe space for us to be represented by trusting co-workers and to find others in the same category of not only varied Global majorities but also a string of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
What: Our first aim is to inform and encourage the younger generation from various Global backgrounds to consider the exciting possibilities of a career in backstage theatre. Planting a seed in their minds at a young age and exposing them to the vibrant world of theatre which exists behind the curtain and not just onstage.
Who: “We are a not for profit limited company whose mission is to diversify the workforce of the creative and cultural sector.”
What: “We work across advocacy, talent development and business development. Our business focus is on the ‘teams behind the scenes’: those who work in roles off-stage, supporting the creative talent. We work across performing arts (music, dance, theatre), visual arts and heritage (museums and archives).”
Who: We are a UK-based not-for-profit Arts organisation for professionals who work in Live & Recorded Arts and are connected to the Middle East, North Africa or the surrounding area.
What: Our directory lists the MENA+ professionals currently working in the UK live and recorded Arts. This includes – but is not limited to – creatives, technicians, and academics.
You will be able to search for them under the skills they have, the country they are connected to and the language they can speak.
Who: A collaborative network of organisations and individuals working in theatre and the performing arts to to promote an off stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability
What: “We ask members to commit to making a practical change and to share their progress and learning. Our members include individuals, organisation, sector support bodies and unions, who have committed to over 180+ initiatives to implement practical change. Initiatives aim to improve and change existing ways of working across 3 key areas, in order to create a more inclusive sector; (fall into three areas):
- Recruitment: Changing recruitment practices to become more open and inclusive
- Reaching out: Raising awareness of and improving the visibility of off stage roles to the public
- New pathways: Developing new learning and training experiences
Stage Sight offer:
A comprehensive list of our members’ initiatives, detailing the practical changes they are implementing
A collection of case studies offering evaluation on projects for you to learn from
Networking opportunities with other Stage Sight members
Access to relevant resources and guidance
Learning Forums available on our website
Lobbying on behalf of the sector
Providing platforms for members’ voices, projects and networks via our social media
We must ensure that, when our industry returns to strength, it does so because it includes everyone, inclusive of their ethnicity, class and disability.
Black and Black British Theatre and Resources
- Afridiziak: Afridiziak Theatre news is a website celebrating African-Caribbean theatre
- Alt A Review: An independent print and digital publication pushing the diversity and inclusion agenda across the arts
- BAiD (Black Artists in Dance): The BAiD vision is to build a sustainable and inclusive global dance environment where Black artists create, develop and thrive
- Bernie Grant Arts Centre: Tottenham-based arts venue developing culturally diverse artists, and championing Black artists telling their own stories
- Black Association for Arts: a network of Black writers, artists, academics, filmmakers, musicians, scientists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, theatre-makers, students and professionals who aim to elevate Black creativity through community
- Black Plays Archive: an online catalogue of the first professional production of every African, Caribbean, and Black British play produced in the U.K
- Black plays at the National Theatre 1976-2014: Google Arts & Culture online exhibit
- Black Theatre and Performance Collection from the V&A
- Black Theatre Live: archive of three year programme of national touring, structural support and audience development
- Black British Theatre 1950 – 1979 (British Library article)
- Blackstage UK: A documentary web series centering black voices in the UK Arts and Entertainment industries
- Eclipse: UK-based black-led touring theatre company
- Project X: Project X is a multi-disciplinary, collectively run organisation based in Scotland, platforming dance of the African and Caribbean Diaspora. We collaborate with artists and organisations, to deliver bespoke workshops, facilitate conversations, produce and curate performances and events in Scotland and beyond.
- Raising the Bar: 100 Years of Black British Theatre and Screen: Lenny Henry presents a radio series on BBC Sounds
- Slate World: hosts Eclipse Online, a series of Masterclasses and Socials held on a weekly basis for Black Artists and fellow Artists also marginalised for their race
- Talawa Theatre: UK-based black-led touring theatre company
- Tangle: a touring theatre company championing African and Caribbean artistic excellence
- The Anti-Racist Social Club: a registered charity that works to create spaces and resources for education and open dialogue with White people and non-Black people of colour about becoming anti-racist allies
- The New Normal: A manifesto to create a safe space, free of racism, for the black artist. Created by Fuel Theatre’s community of freelancers
- Utopia Theatre: a Sheffield-based company that produces cross-cultural content that enhances the value of the African community and promotes its recognition and its integration
British East Asian Theatre and Resources
- BEATS (British East Asians in Theatre and on Screen)
- BEATS Directory: a comprehensive listing of British East Asians working in the screen and stage industries
- Chinese Arts Now: producing work that explores Chinese themes, stories and art forms, and work that blends Chinese and other contemporary art forms
- Exit Pursued by Panda: a collaborative theatre company championing East Asian writing, acting and directing
- Moongate Productions: committed to creating and developing projects that raise the profile of, and give free reign to, East Asian talent whilst actively challenging stereotypical portraits
- Papergang Theatre: a theatre company with the aim of improving the representation of British East / South East Asian culture across the dramatic arts primarily in UK theatre. They produce work that is informed by the East Asian experience within Britain and the East Asian diaspora, inspired by the desire to see that perspective on stage.
- Red Dragonfly Productions: bringing classic and modern stories from the East to British and European stages
- Yellow Earth: international touring theatre company based in London and established to raise the profile of British East Asian theatre
South Asian Theatre and Resources
- Asian Culture Vulture: an online arts and culture magazine, founded to highlight and showcase creative work by South Asians living in the West or examine work that is relevant to them
- British Asian Theatre Project: a 4 year research project by University of Exeter and AHRC documenting the presence of South Asians on the British stage from 1790s to the 2000s.
- British South Asian Theatre Memories Oral History Project: exploring the history of British South Asian Theatre since the 1970s
- Kali: presenting new theatre by female writers of South Asian descent
- Rifco Theatre Company: develops, produces and tours new plays and musicals that reflect and celebrate British Asian contemporary experiences
- South Asian Theatre in Britain: a short essay covering the early 1900s to the 1990s:
- Tara Arts: creating innovative, politically charged theatre through a South Asian lens and championing South Asian voices and artists, identifying new narratives, new ideas and new forms.