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Criterion Theatre

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Criterion

Statements and policies that set out our positions, procedures and actions.

 

EDI Report to AGM 2023

Following on from our policy statements on EDI and Anti-racism we have a commitment to report back on our progress against our EDI action plan.

We said we would do! We did!

First on programming, we continue to ensure that every play announced on our website now has an EDI Assessment attached, indicating coverage of diversity issues and any specific casting requirements (gender/gender identity, race/ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation) that might be different to our usual policy of neutral and open casting.

The choice of plays is now also partly guided by diversity criteria, with soft targets to ensure that there is representation of diverse stories, female playwrights and that at least one play in every season by a global majority playwright. This has guided choices for 2023 and 2024.

From October 2022 to September 2023 our season included: 5 female playwrights, 1 playwright of British Asian origin while 8 of the 9 plays at Springboard were by female identifying playwrights.

Second on diversity within our membership and soft targets on ethnicity –for example an aspirational target of 26% which matches the Black and minority ethnic population of Coventry.

We have made particular progress in this area from a very poor situation in 2017 of 0% to 22% in 2022-2023. We have also had a clear policy, of gender and ethnicity neutral casting where this is appropriate.

Global Majority Actors on Stage

2017 = 0 / 69   (0%)
2018 = 2 / 72   (3%)
2019 = 2 / 52   (4%)
2020 = 4 / 60   (7%)
2021 = 7 / 60   (12%)
2022 = 10/61  (16%)

2023 = 17/76   (22%)

Third, we have also been making efforts this year to think about accessibility issues: with our accessible toilet finally being completed in January 2024.

Summary

We are still at early stages in our EDI journey, but we are keeping it in focus, we are trying and we will keep on going. The most important thing for us is that we need to demonstrate change in our diversity profile both as a moral and ethical imperative, but also, this is not just a numbers game or just about being representative in some numerical way. We need to demonstrate change because we are missing out on the creativity, artistic challenge, and wider talent, that comes from embracing the widest possible range of stories and experiences. If we want to continue to grow into the future, we need to look more widely.

Anne-marie Greene, Artistic Director


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