The Dramatists Guild, which represents playwrights, librettists, lyricists and songwriters, has created an inclusive brief that members can implement when negotiating with producers and other presenters of top-notch productions. The optional resource would allow copywriters to ensure in their contracts that steps are taken to ensure fair and inclusive practices when setting up businesses.
The suggested rider stipulates hiring goals to bring historically under-represented groups, including BIPOC, API, MENASA, LGBTQIA +, non-binary and disabled communities, into creative teams, teams, and actors. He also calls for “reasonable efforts” in conducting interviews and auditions for these positions, and reports to writers on those efforts.
The GM’s business affairs department designed the living document with a working group that included the CEO’s Treasurer and Chair of the Guild’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Christine Toy Johnson and the CEO Board Chair Amanda Green, as well as Aisha DeCoteau, Ty Defoe, Chisa Hutchinson, Todd London, Emily Mann, Ralph Sevush, Emmanuel Wilson, Doug Wright and Amy VonMacek.
Such an endorsement was also requested (regardless of the Guild’s initiative) in Black Theater United’s recent New Deal for Broadway, which outlined a series of promises made by theater owners, producers, unions, creators. and casting directors. The signatory writers and directors have assured their insistence on such a rider. In a more direct promise, the next element of the New Deal is a call to never assemble an all-white creative team on a production.