Equity Diversity & Inclusion Statement

Equity Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At WaterTower Theatre, we believe that there is no place in this world for discrimination, prejudice, or racial injustice. We believe that Black Lives Matter, love is love, and that every person deserves to be treated with respect, equality, and equity. Our goal is to celebrate the diversity of our world through the creation of art, and to also reflect these values within our organization. WaterTower Theatre strives for our stages, board, staff, and audience to mirror the wonderfully diverse community in which we live.

Over the past nine months, we have gotten to work and developed a better understanding of where we need to implement change within the workings of WTT. We are proud to report that the work is being done and the proper steps are being taken to learn and grow. We are taking part in enlightening conversations with members of our community, anti-racism learning sessions, and have accepted a call to action which is the first step towards meaningful change for WTT to build a trusting relationship with those who support us. Finally, we believe it is vital for us all to hold one another up with love, kindness, and understanding during these turbulent times. It is our hope that our children, our children’s children, and all generations that come after will see one another as equals regardless of race, ability, identity, or religious affiliation.

WTT Progress:

(updated 7/31/2021)

Increased Non-union Actor pay: the previous practice of paying non-union talent in a stipend payable at closing, has been ended replaced with a higher overall stipend paid in weekly installments.

Serve as a training ground for future theatrical professionals:

  • A new Partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center & WTT through our new Reimagining the Role Initiative which invites young actors to work with professional actors in a workshop setting.
  • Pending final approval, WTT has been working for several months with faculty at a local ISD to create & sponsor a certified music theatre magnet school program at the high school level which will utilize WTT as its partner theater.

Accessible Masterclasses & Workshops for the DFW professional theater community- Season 26 will also include a new series of continuing education opportunities at WTT with pay-what-you-can opportunities, allowing actors of all ages & abilities to continue to develop their craft at WTT through masterclasses, audition workshops, & adult dance classes.

Began Quarterly Artist Roundtable Discussions

Board Diversification- The October 2020 class of WTT Board Members are all female & also our most diverse class ever.

EDI Assessments of all productions- A diversity assessment of all productions where casting & hiring was completed under Producing Artistic Director, Shane Peterman’s leadership, showed that WTT is proudly ahead of the national average for BIPOC representation on stage, as well as among creative and production teams. WaterTower is committed to continue raising this bar:

• Percent of BIPOC Actors: 43%

• Percent of BIPOC Musicians: 20%

• Percent of BIPOC Creative/Production Team Members: 36%

Anti-racism training- WTT implemented anti-racism training for all full-time employees & board members in June of 2020.

Paid Internships- WaterTower Theatre recognizes that unpaid internships are a gatekeeping mechanism in our industry. That is why all our Summer 2021 internships are paid at $10 per hour.

Fair Hourly Wages- WaterTower Theatre recognizes that hourly positions deserve a fair wage. This is an Equity issue, which is why all hourly positions now start at $12 an hour.