Theatre in the Round Players (TRP) is committed to providing a nurturing, supportive and equitable community for artists, volunteers, patrons and all those involved in bringing its mission to life. We acknowledge that thriving arts environments require risk, courage, vulnerability and investment of our physical, emotional and intellectual selves. This document strives to serve as a basis for nurturing communication, safety, respect, and accountability of participants at all levels of theatrical production. TRP expects the cooperation of all persons engaged by The Theater to perform services (“Engaged Persons”) whether as employee, volunteer, contractor, or otherwise engaged individual, in making this policy work.
To accomplish TRP’s mission, all qualified applicants and Engaged Persons will:
- Conduct themselves with openness, honesty, and respect toward their fellow community members.
- Support the unique abilities, strengths, and differences of all people.
- Understand that the theater will be responsive to individual needs and concerns.
- Ensure the safety of those with whom they work.
- Speak out when encountering situations that are harmful or uncomfortable without fear of reprisal.
NOTE: This document was written with guidance from The Chicago Theatre Standards, an industry tool that is useful in helping to provide a framework for providing safe spaces for everyone involved in theatrical productions to do their best work.
Equal Employment Opportunity and Volunteer Opportunities
TRP is committed to providing equal employment and volunteer opportunities. All qualified applicants and Engaged Persons will be considered for engagement and advancement without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, genetic information, creed, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, sexual orientation or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, volunteer activities or other engagement, including but not limited to promotions, transfers, compensation, terminations, training, and participation in TRP sponsored benefits or programs, where applicable.
Engaged Persons should raise any concerns they might have regarding possible discrimination in accord with the complaint procedure described below. TRP prohibits and will not tolerate or permit retaliation against anyone who in good faith brings forth a complaint of possible discrimination or misconduct.
TRP Commits to creating an environment in which audiences and artists can collaborate and share a space in a way that is both safe for all involved and conducive to the theatrical experience designed by the production’s creative team. In audition notices, auditions, rehearsals, tech, and performances, we intend to create a safe and respectful atmosphere for all participants. We believe that communication, safety, respect, accountability, artistic freedom, collaborative integrity, and personal discipline are the cornerstones of this atmosphere.
Theatre engages the full spectrum of humanity. Telling the stories of complex human experience often includes representations of violence, racism, homophobia, abuse, and other challenging content. We seek an ethical atmosphere when engaging in this content, working with diverse groups of participants, and particularly when producing culturally sensitive work.
TRP’s commitment includes, but is not limited to:
- Providing notice and building consent among participants around physical or emotional tasks that artists may be asked to engage in such as physical contact, intimacy, culturally charged narratives, combat, sexual content, or physical labor as it relates to performance and aspects of technical theatre production.
- Providing a smoke-‐free, alcohol and drug-free, safety-focused physical environment for all spaces where artists, volunteers, and patrons inhabit.
- We will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations to facilitate access, such as allowing interpreters when necessary and providing audition materials in advance to artists with disabilities.
Inappropriate Conduct and Offensive Behavior
For the purpose of this policy, prohibited conduct includes verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct that (1) relates to another person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, genetic information, creed, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, sexual orientation or any other status protected by applicable law or (2) is directed toward another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, genetic information, creed, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, sexual orientation or any other status protected by applicable law, where such conduct may have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, whether or not the person is a paid employee, performer, production volunteer, house volunteer, or board member,
Prohibited conduct is any conduct that results in physical, emotional, or material harm toward any engaged person, whether during auditions, rehearsals, performances, pre- or post-performance activities, or any activity hosted or sponsored by TRP. And may include, but is not limited to:
- Inappropriate or insulting remarks, gestures, jokes, or innuendoes or taunting about a person’s body, attire, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, racial or ethnic background, color, place of birth, citizenship, culture, ancestry, creed, ability, age, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, or any other status.
- Conduct that may constitute or lead to sexual harassment, such as: use of suggestive sexual comments, jokes, or innuendo; persistent, unwanted flirtation or invitations for dates or other social activities; unwelcome sexual advances or passes; sexual remarks or questions about a person’s body, clothing, or sexual activities; touching, patting, pinching, massaging, hugging, kissing, or other offensive touching, outside the boundaries of consent or consented to production content; or displays of sexually suggestive pictures or objects. Sexually harassing conduct may include conduct between any persons regardless of the sexual orientation of those persons.
- Conduct which is known or ought to reasonably be known to be unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate. It is worth noting that the higher the emotional/sexual risk a theatrical production asks of its artists, the greater the diligence of each member of production and artistic staffs is needed to foster an environment ofemotional safety.
- Persistent unwanted questions or comments about a participant’s private life outside the boundaries of established consent.
- Posting or displaying materials, articles, graffiti, and so on, which may cause humiliation, offense, or embarrassment on prohibited grounds that are outside the parameters of a production. A production about pornography, violence, or racism may involve such images in the rehearsal/performance space or in a dramaturgy packet, but such images are not appropriate for open display in dressing rooms, bathrooms, or other similar
Discrimination and harassment are prohibited regardless of whether the prohibited conduct is committed by supervisors, co-workers, volunteers (house managers, ushers, front of house, actors, designers, directors, etc.), contractors, vendors, and board members. Engaged Persons must not engage in prohibited conduct against other Engaged Persons.
Any of the behaviors outlined here have the potential to create a negative environment for individuals or groups. It should be noted that a person does not have to be a direct target to be adversely affected by a negative environment. It is understood that creative atmospheres are not always “emotionally sanitary”—they can safely be bawdy, profane, vulgar, and challenging. Having (a) a practice of building consent and (b) an environment that allows for response to clear boundary violations can broaden our opportunity to be challenging and fearless in our work.
Concerns about harassment, safety, or a negative environment should be reported using the Concern Resolution Path (starting with level one wherever possible), and all concerns should be treated with the utmost respect for the safety and wellbeing of all participants.
Employees or volunteers who become aware of or are subjected to possible violations of the TRP Code of Conduct should notify a person they feel most comfortable reporting to in a leadership position, this could include the Managing Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Technical Director, Stage Manager, Show Director, House Manager, Office Manager, Box Office Manager, or any member of the Board of Directors immediately, or as soon as reasonably possible. TRP may ask that complaints be put in writing to facilitate the investigation process.
This notification process is called the Concern Resolution Path (CRP). The goal of the CRP is to provide a documented communication pathway to address issues in a production or within an organization. The CRP seeks to inform participants what to do and who to address with serious issues, and dispel the fear of reprisal for reporting issues of safety, harassment, or other serious concerns. This Concern Resolution Path will be printed and distributed to all participants and discussed on the first day of rehearsal or training. The goal is to seek to resolve concerns early, before participants are put at risk and before the concern escalates.
The Concern Resolution Path follows a three-level structure:
Level One—We recognize that many concerns can be resolved through conversation with the parties involved. Whenever possible participants should be encouraged to discuss challenges and concerns with one another. Sharing and hearing concerns with openness and respect can prevent situations from escalating further.
Level Two—The following participants (in no particular order) should be granted a certain level of authority and trust to determine whether a concern can be resolved at this level or if it needs to be sent to the next level. All concerns should be reported to Level Three, even if no action is required.
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Stage Manager
- Show Director
- Technical Director
- House Manager
- Box Office Manager
- Board Member
- TRP Staff Member
Additionally, if any of the above listed people, or people in positions of responsibility for others, becomes aware of any incidents or alleged incidents of possible TRP Code of Conduct violations, such person must immediately report, as soon as reasonably possible, the incident(s) directly to the Managing Director or President of the Board of Directors before undertaking an investigation or other action.
Level Three—These participants should be considered the final level of the path, capable of resolving issues that have not been resolved prior to reaching this stage. They are strongly advised to consult with each other and review legal or other implications of any decision.
- Managing Director
- President of the Board of Directors
Any individual with authority (Managing Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Technical Director, Stage Manager, Show Director, House Manager, Office Manager, Box Office Manager, or any member of the Board of Directors) who fails to report allegations, instances or who otherwise fails to deal properly with such allegations may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment or prohibition from any further affiliation with TRP.
TRP will take prompt action to investigate allegations and reports of Code of Conduct Violations.
Based upon its investigation, TRP promptly will take any appropriate corrective action toward any Engaged Person found to have participated in prohibited conduct. Such persons will be subject to appropriate discipline or other corrective action, up to and including termination of employment or prohibition from any further affiliation with TRP.
TRP’s policy is to keep all instances of alleged Code of Conduct Violations confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need for a thorough investigation. If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the Managing Director or the President of the Board. TRP prohibits and will not tolerate or permit retaliation against any victim of or witness to a Code of Conduction violation or violations. Any Engaged Person who retaliates against another person because of that other person’s good faith complaint or good faith participation in an investigation, will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment or prohibition from any further affiliation with TRP.
The Managing Director will maintain personnel files, which should include reported concerns. Such files are to be keptconfidential and accessible only to the individual(s) responsible for maintaining the files.
In the event of civil or criminal misconduct or liability, the TRP Code of Conduct Policy and the Concern Resolution Path is not areplacement for legal advice or action, nor does it stand instead of any local, state or federal law.