The Improv Shop is invested in creating an inclusive and safe space for our diverse community.
To support that effort, The Improv Shop founded The Diversity & Inclusion Board to build initiatives to both increase diversity and create a culture of inclusion.
The Diversity & Inclusion Board is composed of members of the improv community who are present often and have experience in issues of oppression, as well as past inclusion work training for at least one under-represented identity. The goal is that community members are able to approach folks with a shared identity in a safe context to ask questions or raise issues about anything going on at The Improv Shop.
Here’s a look at some of our current initiatives.
Townhalls are events for the whole improv community in St. Louis. In 2017, The Improv Shop invited John Gebretatose from HUGE Theatre in Minneapolis to lead an improv community townhall to discuss current inclusion efforts, their outcomes, and brainstorm ways to continue to further the effort.
Workshops offer a small group of individuals the opportunity to learn about collaborative topics including inclusive play, navigating hard scenes, avoiding/solving stereotype-casting, working with hard suggestions, and handling difficult players or audience members.
The Diversity & Inclusion Board also sponsors jams for under-represented communities. Since improv is so strongly influenced by the life experiences of improvisors, it’s important to represent a variety of identities. We want to foster a safe space where the realm of possibilities is as wide as it ought to be.
You are welcome to reach out to one of the diversity team members at any time by emailing [email protected].