Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Updates and Amendments
The Alley Theatre is committed to being an equitable, diverse, inclusive, anti-racist theatre. This process is iterative, on-going, and is never finished. It is important to us that you know the steps we are taking in the journey to being the Theatre we want to be. We will be using this space to update and add to the commitments we made in our Actions Speak Louder Than Words letter we published on June 18, 2020. This is a living document and we will be adding to it periodically to update you on our progress in an effort to be transparent with this work. We have been listening and learning from the We See You WAT list of demands, our affinity group of Alley staff of color, and our work with anti-racism consultants Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, Tyler Rivenbark, Alison Park, The Center for the Healing of Racism in Houston, as well as our own EDI strategic planning led by Alley Director of Human Resources, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Sajal Javid. This document is about how we are working to make an Alley Theatre where all are welcome, cared for, and included.
September 25, 2020
New Commitment – Resident Acting Company (RAC) Members now full-time employees of the Alley
Our current RAC members are now full-time, and the members we are planning to add to the Company after COVID-19 will be full-time employees of the Alley, rather than on-contract when they are rehearsing and performing and off-contract when they are not. This is a 52-week of the year commitment to our actors, which we believe is essential for actors who are making a life in theatre, having the stability and peace of mind to be creative, and being a permanent part of our community in Houston.
New Commitment – New tech schedule eliminating 10 out of 12 rehearsals
We have revised our technical rehearsal schedule to eliminate the practice of rehearsing 12-hour days during tech. We recognize that 12-hour days cause exhaustion and reduce creativity. This change allows our artists and staff to have a better quality of life.
New Commitment – New five-day rehearsal schedule
We have revised our pre-tech rehearsal schedule to be Tuesday through Saturday, giving our artists and staff a two-day weekend.
New Commitment – New span of rehearsal day
We have also revised our pre-tech rehearsal schedule to limit the span of the rehearsal day from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., allowing our artists and staff the ability to make evening plans and have dinners with loved ones.
These changes in the rehearsal schedule will be the Alley’s regular practice with the understanding that rare exceptions will be made when a project needs greater flexibility.
Action – Leadership attends Racism in the Arts Workshop with Harrison Guy at The Center for the Healing of Racism
July 9, 2020
Action – All Staff anti-racism workshop with The Listening, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart and Tyler Rivenbark
July 23, 2020
Action – Leadership anti-racism workshop with Blink Consulting, Alison Park – Anti-racism by Design
July 24, 2020
Action – All Staff anti-racism workshop with Blink Consulting, Alison Park
July 27, 2020 & August 28, 2020
Action – Alley Board President Ken Kades is doing ongoing EDI training with Art Equity
Update – Alley Board has scheduled an EDI workshop with Blink Consulting, Alison Park
Action – Meeting of Alley Employees of Color Affinity Group and Creation of Document of Challenges
This meeting was the first important step in identifying what changes need to be made at the Alley to ensure that all employees are able to bring their full self to the Alley and do their best work.
August 13, 2020
Action – HR Director Sajal Javid’s increased commitment to EDI
HR Director Sajal Javid holds the designation of a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP), has been selected to be a member of the LORT EDI committee, and has been selected by Art Equity to join their BIPOC Leadership Circle in partnership with Yale School of Drama. Sajal Javid’s title has been changed to Director of Human Resources, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion to reflect her increasing focus on EDI.
September 15, 2020
Update – Education and Community Outreach and Artistic building more collaboration
Our two Departments are now meeting regularly and are working more collaboratively. In addition, our Manager of Community Partnerships Baldemar Rodriguez has joined our Artistic Programming meetings and has brought the perspective of Community Partnerships into our season planning.
Update – Hispanic Heritage Month and El Zócalo
Led by Alley Theatre’s Manager of Community Partnership through the Alley’s El Zócalo program, the Alley offers a robust offering of online programming to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, 2020. Please click here for our full roster of events.