UK Theatre and SOLT, with Equity (supported by the LTC, the ITC, Act for Change and the Theatre Development Trust) have commissioned Tonic Theatre to develop and test a practical tool to support theatres to consider diversity during the casting process.
The need to improve the diversity of the theatre and performing arts workforce has been a key issue for our sector for some time. It is now recognised that for theatre and the performing arts to continue to contribute to the UK’s world-leading creative industries they must draw on the talent base, and build audiences, from all areas of society.
The planning kit could make a broad and lasting contribution to ensuring that the diversity of actors on our stages improves. In turn this would contribute to a step-change with the diversity of the theatre workforce and audiences.
Tonic Theatre has created a tool to help organisations to deliver on their own ambitions for change. The planning tool supports theatres and producing companies to make a clear plan for the change they want to see, provides prompts, a framework for challenge, and it allows them to evaluate their success.
We are trialling the planning kit over a 12 month period from mid 2017 - 2018, during which time it will be used by a range of organisations; different scales, building-based and touring, London and regional, those that cast in-house and those that use freelance casting directors. Those organisations trialling the tool are:
- National Theatre
- National Theatre Wales
- Nottingham Playhouse
- The Other Palace
- Sheffield Theatres
Following the trial, UK Theatre, SOLT and Equity (working with other sector partners) intend to make the planning kit available to all those in the theatre and performing arts sector that are keen to bring diversity to casting.