The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, and too many other people of color continue to shine a horrifying spotlight on a system and society that does not see all of its citizens as equal.
11th Hour recognizes that we have been complicit in maintaining the practices of this racist system, and hereby commit to making fundamental changes to our staff, creative practices, and board of directors in order to create a truly anti-racist organization.
In accordance with this commitment:
We will produce the work of at least one writer, composer, and/or lyricist of color every season.
UPDATE: We have two commissioned works in development that we will be able to announce when in-person performances resume.
We are assembling a diverse season-selection committee to broaden our perspective and better represent the Philadelphia community. This committee will be responsible for recommending all of the material 11th Hour produces each season.
UPDATE: This is on hold until in-person performances are safe so that the committee will truly have the freedom to choose pieces for full productions.
We will be hiring a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or Person(s) of Color) casting director this summer.
UPDATE: Alani Jackson joined our team as casting director in August 2020.
We aim to increase the percentage of non-white artists we employ each season from 30% (based on 18/19 and 19/20 seasons) to at least 50%.
UPDATE: Our Virtual Programming has included and average of 49% artists of color.
We will be employing at least one BIPOC director every season.
UPDATE: Our virtual programming has been operating without “directors,” under the discretion of artists themselves. When we have shows requiring a director, this is still very much our plan.
We will train our current and new staff members about anti-racism (starting this month with training modules from the Institute of El Paso).
UPDATE: We are engaging in monthly discussions with our staff & board about topics such as White Privilege, Systemic Racism in the Theatre, and more. Staff members Michael O’Brien & Grayce Hoffman are also beginning DEI training through the Independence foundation Feb. 24th.
We aim to increase BIPOC representation on our board of directors to 30% or more by December of 2021.
UPDATE: We are currently finalizing on our board resources and recruitment policies to achieve this goal
We will acknowledge the Lenni Lenape people, the original inhabitants of this land, through a lobby display at each of our performances.
UPDATE: We are still committed to this acknowledgment at in-person venues, and are brainstorming the best way to achieve this online.
We will find organizations and BIPOC artists with missions similar to ours to promote to our audiences.
UPDATE: We have cross-promoted the Digital Rally for the Arts (organized by Power Street Theatre and others)
11th Hour Theatre Company stands in solidarity with all of those seeking justice in Philadelphia and across the country. We recognize this is not a perfect or complete list of actions, and thank you for your patience as we continue to grow and learn. We are committed to making 11th Hour an actively anti-racist organization, and encourage any and all feedback be sent to [email protected].
Michael Philip O’Brien, Producing Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Grayce Hoffman, Director of Communications
Steve Pacek, Associate Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Megan Nicole O’Brien, Resident Director and Co-Founder
*Updates as of February, 2021.