Central London drama societies to emerge from Covid with a new commitment to diversity and inclusion
Three of the largest central London amateur drama societies have been regularly meeting during the pandemic to talk honestly about the issues they face regarding diversity and inclusion in their societies. As each society embarks upon plans to return to in-person events, they have together launched London Drama Societies, a working group with the aim of promoting and facilitating a greater degree of diversity and inclusion in all areas of activity of London amateur dramatics societies. Membership of London Drama Societies commits each member society to the following mission statement: “Collectively, we commit to take constant steps to be more inclusive and attract members and audiences reflecting London’s diversity. “We will identify and remove barriers to create a safe and inclusive environment. We want everyone to feel empowered to participate, on stage or off. We want stories to be told authentically.” The London Drama Societies website hosts the draft policies the group has worked on during the performance hiatus caused by the pandemic. Currently this includes policies on Casting and Authentic Storytelling, and Marketing and Outreach. Further policies and resources will be available in due course, including an Off Stage Roles policy. The policies will also be available for any other society which could find this work useful. In addition, London Drama Societies has also created a template diversity monitoring form, which each society is launching to its members today, Friday 11 June. Commenting for London Drama Societies, Sara Rajeswaran said: “Each of our societies is committed to becoming more reflective of London’s diversity. However, we all know there are some significant steps to be taken if we are to get there. It will take time to fully deliver on our ambition but today we demonstrate our commitment to change and set ourselves on a course to improve. “One of the most important initial steps we can take is to understand the diversity in our societies today, so we can measure our progress and be held to account. We hope our members will fill in the diversity monitoring form, and we look forward to working with our members on further steps to create the diversity in our societies that we all want to see."