As we prepare to welcome our 2018 Season artists at First Rehearsal on Monday, Artistic Director Davis McCallum and Managing Director Katie Liberman offer the following on maintaining mutual respect and trust within the HVSF family and under the Theater Tent.
To our friends, colleagues, neighbors, audience members, and members of the public:
At HVSF, we believe deeply in a theater based on democratic values – inclusion, respect, empathy, generosity, and trust. Our aim is to live those values in all of our work and our art — in our rehearsal halls, in the administrative office, backstage, onstage, in the classroom, on tour, in company housing, everywhere.
At this moment, when so many brave women and men have spoken out about longstanding patterns of harassment and abuse throughout the theater industry and beyond, we assure you of our commitment to providing a safe and productive work environment for everyone in the HVSF community. There is absolutely no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in our theater, and we have no tolerance for behaviors which compromise the safety or dignity of anyone who works for HVSF.
Inspired by our colleagues who created the Chicago Theater Standards, we’ve created a Concern Resolution Path (CRP) for staff and added it to HVSF’s already-strong policy against harassment. This policy applies equally and unequivocally to everyone who works at HVSF, regardless of their position, seniority, or role within the production or the organization as a whole. Accounts of harassment, or concerns about a positive and safe working environment, can and should be reported, and will be heard. We promise to support those who speak up about their experience, and we pledge to take all reports seriously.
When we make theater together, we also build a community together. We want our creative community to be characterized by courage, risk, vulnerability, surprise, spontaneity, joy, and deep personal investment. We understand that artistic creation is messy, and that in order to do challenging and vital work, all our artists need to be willing to live — physically and emotionally — in that mess. But this must never be used as an excuse for abusive or hurtful behavior. On the contrary, mutual respect and trust are fundamental to the freedom and playfulness that characterize our best work together. As we start the season, let us rededicate ourselves to that goal.
We are grateful to you for choosing to be a part of this community, and we are committed to creating and maintaining a community that lives up to these shared values. We look forward to joining each of you under the Tent this summer.
Davis & Katie