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Our Commitments

Our ambition is to be a theatre for everyone in this city and beyond.

In order to achieve that ambition, we recognise that we need to take further steps to become a genuinely inclusive organisation where everyone feels represented, valued, safe and respected, whether artists, community, audiences, staff, stakeholders or partners.

We’re proud of the progress we’ve made over the past few years, which in 2019/20, our last full trading year, meant that…

  • Our workforce was 27% ethnically diverse
  • Our board of trustees was 40% ethnically diverse
  • Our artistic programme comprised 33% diverse-led performances
  • Our writer commissions (eight in total) were to 56% ethnically diverse writers
  • Our artistic associates appointed (nine in total) were 78% ethnically diverse

We recognise, though, that more and deeper changes are needed in order for The Rep to be inclusive and representative of the hugely diverse city that we serve.  To achieve that, we are committing to a journey of culture change as we move forwards.

We will change our policies, procedures and practices so that we can better understand and reflect our community’s wishes and needs.  The Rep’s community work over many years, including during Covid, is a solid foundation for us to build upon.

We are committed to the ongoing journey and will dedicate time and resources to it as we move forwards.  We are also committed to sharing progress and listening to feedback along the way so that we can be sure we are achieving what we set out to do.

As we recover from Covid, we have an opportunity to accelerate the pace of change in some areas and rebuild our theatre as a fairer and more equitable organisation.  We want to make the most of that opportunity.

Below are some of the actions we’re intending to take this year.  These are not exhaustive but provide a cross section of new and ongoing actions in our mission to reshape The Rep as an inclusive organisation.  All are underpinned by targets and are part of a much bigger equality diversity and inclusion action plan.

Governance & Leadership

  • Re-state our values to include an explicit commitment to inclusion and anti-racism
  • Undertake anti-racism training with our Board, leadership and all staff
  • Develop an ethical hiring policy with our conferencing and events subsidiary and joint venture partner Library of Birmingham
  • Recruit new Board members to broaden the diversity of perspective in our governance
  • Expand our Board Equality Diversity and Inclusion committee with independent members
  • Introduce Equality Impact Assessment into our decision making where decisions have the potential to adversely impact on specific communities
  • Sign up in full to the More Than A Moment Pledge

Relationships

  • Continue to meet partners to understand what actions are needed to repair relationships with people hurt by our MOJ decision
  • Build relationships with more stakeholders who are representative of our diverse city

Workforce

  • Increase workforce awareness around anti-racism and inclusion through training, internal forums and working with various external partners
  • Develop an inclusive recruitment strategy to support the recruitment of more diverse staff especially at management and leadership levels
  • Amplify and accelerate diverse talent in our organisation
  • Create pathways into the organisation for individuals from under-represented groups

Artistic Plans

  • Deliver an artistic programme that places diverse work at its centre across all three spaces including the House
  • Develop an inclusive programming process drawing on diverse perspectives in house and from our community
  • Invest in a series of no strings attached micro commissions for artists in the city
  • Invest in a series of engagement pilots with marginalised communities in the city
  • Amplify the work of Lightpost Theatre Company and fundraise for their continuation as the current funding comes to an end in 2022
  • Continue to cast diverse actors and engage diverse creative teams across all our produced work – at higher levels than previously
  • Continue to commission a range of diverse writers
  • Deliver Creative Teams of the Future initiative to accelerate diverse creative talent

Creative Learning Plans

  • Fundraise for and deliver Foundry #3 to train artists to co-create in community settings focusing on artists from under-represented backgrounds
  • Increase engagement projects with under-represented communities
  • Deliver activities in schools with groups at risk of permanent exclusion including PRUs
  • Deliver engagement pilot with targeted schools to further diversify Young REP
  • Extend our community ticket schemes to provide more free and discounted tickets for young people and under-represented groups
  • Create an accessible space on site to provide drop in and structured activity for young people especially those living in our neighbourhood
  • Providing more bursaries for Young REP targeting under-represented groups

We will share key statistics showing progress across these areas at the end of the year (March 2022): we aim to show continuous improvement and report on progress transparently.

The Rep belongs to Birmingham and we want the city to shape its theatre.  We welcome the involvement of as many of our stakeholders as possible in our journey: audiences, participants, staff, artists, partners and communities.

To join a session to find out more about these plans and share your comments please email feedback@birmingham-rep.co.uk. Freelancers will be reimbursed for their time.