At HVSF, inclusion is one of our core values. And yet, we acknowledge that our actions and procedures have often upheld established systems of white supremacy and patriarchy that are directly opposed to this core value. We are committed to dismantling these practices and advancing the work of anti-racism and anti-harassment throughout our entire organization. We seek to establish a creative community characterized by courage, risk-taking, joy, and deep personal investment.

The following four community principles reflect our conviction that mutual respect and trust are essential to the freedom and playfulness that characterize our best work together.

We strive to embody the kaleidoscope of the entire Hudson Valley Region by holding space under our tent for every member of the community. There is a place for all of us in this work, and this work belongs to each of us. This community extends to every artist, designer, director, staff member, technician, donor, collaborator, partner, and audience member.
We reject conduct that inhibits the right of any community member to show up as their full selves. We ask that all members of the HVSF community bring all that they are and all that they can do to our collective work as theatermakers, and therefore we will not tolerate or ignore discrimination, intimidation, belittlement of any kind, or the diminishment of the lived experience of any community member.
It takes a village to create the magic of live theater. We are one team of artists, administrators, technicians, and community members. We treat one another with respect and kindness. We believe that everyone’s voice is essential to the process. We celebrate our collective hard work and accomplishments. We lift one another up and we amplify each other’s voices. We continually look for ways to improve as a collective.
While we acknowledge that creative work can be messy, we must never allow that messiness to be used as an excuse for behavior rooted in privilege, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, bias or ignorance. As a community, we commit ourselves to identifying, disrupting, and repairing moments of harm as we experience or witness them, while at the same time acknowledging the courage required to do so.

To realize these principles, which are the cornerstones of the creative community that we aspire to be, we must also acknowledge that a community is made up of human beings, and human beings make mistakes. We encourage community members who experience behavior that is intentionally or unintentionally harmful, or otherwise out of alignment with our community principles, to speak up by using the procedures outlined in the Concern Resolution Path below.

We commit to support those who speak up about their experience, and to respond to any concerns in a timely, thoughtful, and impartial manner. We will not accept or ignore discrimination1, harassment2, or abuse of power in our theater, and we will have no tolerance for behaviors which compromise the safety or dignity of anyone in the HVSF Community. This applies equally and unequivocally to everyone who works at HVSF, regardless of their position, their seniority, or their role within the production or the organization.

HVSF Concern Resolution Path:
Inspired by the Chicago Theater Standards

Creating a safe and equitable environment for all members of our team is essential. We take concerns seriously and seek to address issues in a sensitive and timely manner. To do so, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival recommends the following Concern Resolution Path (CRP) to help communicate any concerns that happen in the rehearsal room, at the tent, in the office, at company housing, or at any HVSF events. The CRP is a suggested option for communication offered to employees in addition to our formal policy on Harassment and our Code of Conduct.

To the maximum extent possible, we will respect the desire of any individual using this CRP who would like to remain anonymous. Should sharing an individual’s identity be required to complete an investigation of harassment or discrimination, we will consult with the individual in advance of moving forward with an investigation. All members of the HVSF community will be protected from retaliation, intimidation, interference, coercion, or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation.

Level One: If you feel comfortable doing so, we encourage you to first directly address your concern with the individual(s) involved by either calling in or calling out.

Call in: If a colleague does something that you find inappropriate, pull them to the side and take the time to foster an open and honest conversation about what transpired.

Call out: If a colleague does something that you find inappropriate, and if you feel comfortable doing so, you can respectfully address inappropriate conduct in front of others, especially if you believe it will protect yourself and/or your colleagues from further harm.
In many cases, you may find that “calling someone in” can be what is needed to solve a conflict, and may foster an honest and open conversation to help the company reach the fastest path to a resolution. However, there may be times when you may need to “call someone out” or to use the concern resolution path. Know that you may always report a concern or complaint regardless of whether you have first called someone in.

Level Two: If you are not comfortable directly addressing the issue at hand, or if no resolution is reached, your next points of contact can be any of the following individuals*, who will be prepared to consult with higher level HVSF management and Board, as needed. We encourage concerns of level 2 and above to be made in writing, when possible.

  • Company Manager
  • Production Stage Manager
  • Stage Manager
  • Audience Services Manager
  • General Manager

Level Three: If an issue is not resolved through Levels One and Two, or, if you are an individual called out in Level Two who needs assistance to resolve an issue, or, if you believe your issue is of utmost concern, your next points of contact should be of the following people.

The contacts at this level may consult with each other and review any legal or other implications of any decision.

  • Managing Director
  • Artistic Director
  • Board Appointed Members

*The names and contact information of these people have been shared with HVSF staff and will be updated annually.

This is a living document, offered to be adapted, amended, and changed with input from the community, to ensure that it continues to serve members’ needs and reflect the values outlined here. It will work in concert with show-specific session agreements and HVSF’s Code of Conduct. This document draws on work done by colleagues at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Public Theater, The Old Globe, American Players Theater, among many others.

  1. Discrimination is the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of other people, on the basis of race, sex, age, gender identity, ethnicity, or religion.
  2. Harassment consists of any unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome visual, verbal or physical conduct.