In 2016, TheatreFIRST was reinvented into a theatre lab dedicated to the search for new forms of progressive justice. Now in our fourth season of this innovation, TheatreFIRST has made a national name for itself responding to the present and future needs of its community. We are not another theatre company with an EDI committee, we are a social and economic justice organization that uses theatre as its method for change.
Leading with mandates of a minimum two-thirds people of color, half female-identified, and one-third LGBTQIA2+ in all aspects of infrastructure and production, TheatreFIRST is a forty-member-strong community. Our voices explore and exhibit the promise of representation. We challenge traditional constructs at every stage of theatre’s world-building process.
We are proud of what we’ve accomplished, humbled by what we haven’t, and excited to work harder with all of the knowledge we are gaining along the way. As summed up in Lauren Emily Whalen’s American Theatre Magazine interview with TheatreFIRST’s Artistic Facilitator, Jon Tracy:
“Four and a half years into his tenure, Tracy has found that actively diversifying—from board to audience—leads to deeper work. ‘When you have that ensemble of human beings, and you match that with practical rules with which to engage in communication, and a deep understanding of the nature of implementing ideas,’ Tracy says, ‘you can do some really cool shit.’”