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Playhouse Merced is committed to the implementation and sustainability of the following ideals:


  • Producing theatre with authentic representations of all groups, inclusive of culture, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, and different abilities.

    • What this looks like…

      • Including works in all of our programming by BIPOC* and LGBTQIA+** authors.

      • Reversing the invisibility of native peoples through land acknowledgments and other mechanisms.

      • Conservatory classroom experiences representative of the diverse communities.

      • Greater access to conservatory via scholarships.

      • Shows by BIPOC* or LGBTQIA+** authors--or shows featuring BIPOC* or LGBTQIA** characters--will have the same chance to be featured on the mainstage instead of a second space.

      • Commit to a level of marketing equal to that of mainstage shows, with special efforts to reach out to the community

      • Partner with local community-based organizations to provide greater access to wider audiences. 

      • Conducting an assessment of audience engagement to identify barriers keeping audiences away.

      • Alternative access (i.e. “pay what you can,” David’s Seat, etc.) for each production or event to make attendance possible for underrepresented groups.

      • Providing creative teams with accurate and extensive dramaturgy to help with honest portrayals/representations on the stage.

  • Providing educational opportunities connected to our diverse programming to help our audiences better engage with our work.

    • What this looks like…

      • Talkbacks, page-to-stage supplements, and online dramaturgy created and led by culturally competent facilitators.  

      • Reduce barriers and provide greater access to school-aged students and home-bound/facility-bound seniors.  (Meeting groups where they are)

      • Provide educational opportunities (i.e. reading groups) to highlight works and BIPOC* and LGBTQIA+** authors that we may not be able to produce.

      • Connect with other educational and cultural organizations in our community to provide enrichment activities connected to our productions.

  • Creating a safe, inclusive, and anti-racist environment for BIPOC* and LGBTQIA+** staff members, artists, audience, and community members.

    • What this looks like…

      • Having a diverse board that looks like, and has relationships with, our communities.

      • Having employment and casting processes that dismantle barriers which exclude BIPOC* and other under-represented candidates.  

      • Quarterly training for all staff that includes bystander intervention, de-escalation, and conflict resolution training to provide the necessary tools to address racism and bias when it happens.

      • Require creative teams to undergo anti-racism/anti-bias workshops at the beginning of each rehearsal or tech process and ensure accountability with signed statements.

      • Having a volunteer on-boarding process that includes bystander intervention, de-escalation, and conflict resolution training to provide the necessary tools to address racism and bias when it happens.


Playhouse Merced recognizes that these efforts toward ensuring an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community theatre are ongoing.  We would like to thank everyone who engaged in the creation of these ideals. This document and these ideals will continue to grow and evolve, and we look forward to these ongoing conversations.  Playhouse Merced is grateful to everyone who was, and will be, willing to speak out, and we recognize the bravery such actions must take.  Our hope is that these difficult conversations create not only a better community theatre, but a better community.


Important terms:

*BIPOC:  Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

**LGBTQIA+:  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intesexed, Agender, Asexual, and Ally community.

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