The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the theatrical union that represents stage directors and choreographers in the U.S., has released a statement on racial justice. The letter, addressed to "Our Colleagues in the Theatre," pledges several steps the organization is taking to recommit to protecting and empowering its members, and working towards an equitable future.
Beginning this July, SDC will publish detailed hiring statistics for the 2019–2020 season. "Our research clearly demonstrates that SDC Members’ employment and pay is inextricably tied to their race," reads the statement. "Facts are levers for change. We pledge that we will make public this annual data on hiring trends and other markers of discrimination in our field, so that the truth is there for all to see, and to act upon. Knowledge is power."
The union has also pledged to "listen better and more deeply to our Black Members," and to better engage with theatres and producers in ensuring safe spaces for BIPOC artists. Under the banner of "Protect," SDC has also promised to educate its members and its staff.
"As a Union, we have not appreciated the depth of alienation that our Black Members experience," reads the statement. "For far too long—working in largely white-staffed theatres—they have endured isolation, marginalization, objectification, and worse."
Looking ahead, SCD's Board (40% of whom are artists of color) is committed to anti-racism efforts, particularly in the wake of a public health crisis which has impacted, and will continue to impact, employment for directors and choreographers.
Read the full letter below.