Anti-Racist Casting Pledge

In July 2021 the Theatre@First Steering Committee voted to require all directors to commit to an anti-racist casting pledge.

The Pledge

I pledge to uphold Theatre@First’s values in creating anti-racist theater. To provide greater opportunities for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and other marginalized actors within our group, I will engage in an anti-racist casting philosophy that will include the following:

  • In the character descriptions given to prospective auditioners, I will include notes on specific race, gender presentation, age, physical ability, etc. for every character in my show to provide further outreach and to better inform BIPOC actors, LGBTQIA+ actors, and/or actors with disabilities of available roles.

  • I will engage in identity-conscious casting instead of color-blind casting:

      • I will not tokenize or stereotype actors based on their race, ethnicity, gender identity or presentation, disability, etc.

      • If a role is available to an actor of any race, gender, etc., I will strive to avoid the “white/male/abled by default” characterization of the dramatic canon and consciously and senstitively audition and cast BIPOC, femme, trans, nonbinary, other marginalized genders, and/or actors with disabilities for such roles.

      • Where BIPOC, femme, trans, nonbinary, other marginalized genders, and/or disabled characters are specified in a script, I will cast as closely to those specifications as possible.

  • I will work with my EDI Representative during the auditions and casting process to identify my implicit biases or blind spots, and honestly listen to their feedback and suggestions.

  • I will acknowledge the racialized, gendered, dis/abled, etc. narrative and dynamics created by my casting choices and collaborate with all actors to discuss and create fully-informed characterizations of all roles.

  • I will work with my EDI Representative, audition staff, and production staff during auditions, rehearsals, work days, performances, and all other events during production to ensure the comfort and safety of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and other marginalized actors.

Resources for Anti-Racist and Identity-Conscious Casting