The Dramatists Guild, representing playwrights, librettists, lyricists and composers, has created an inclusion endorsement that members can implement when negotiating with producers and other broadcasters of premier productions. The optional resource would allow writers to ensure in their contracts that steps are taken to ensure fair and inclusive practices when setting up businesses.
The suggested endorsement stipulates hiring goals to integrate historically underrepresented groups — including the BIPOC, API, MENASA, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, and disability communities — into creative teams, crews, and actors. It also calls for “reasonable efforts” to conduct interviews and auditions for these positions, and reports to the writers on those efforts.
The DG’s Business Affairs Department designed the living document with a working group that included DG Treasurer and Chair of the Guild’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Christine Toy Johnson and the DG Council Chair Amanda Green, along with Aisha DeCoteau, Ty Defoe, Chisa Hutchinson, Todd London, Emily Mann, Ralph Sevush, Emmanuel Wilson, Doug Wright and Amy VonMacek.
Such a rider was also called out (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, creatives and casting directors. The signatory writers and directors ensured their insistence on such an endorsement. In a more direct promise, the next element of the New Deal is a call to never bring together an all-white creative team on a production.
READ: Black Theater United’s ‘New Deal’ promises EDIAB training, union audits, famed Broadway houses, and more