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Jamie Fletcher: 5 tips on directing, highlighting and celebrating diversity

Jamie Fletcher
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LGBTQ+ activist Jamie Fletcher, who is transgender, is a film and theatre director and also a musician. She creates multidisciplinary queer work and collaborates with a range of performers, designers, writers, musicians and theatre companies independently as well as leading Jamie Fletcher and Company.

1. Embrace difference

Welcome difference in your cast and team as well as in the style of theatre you create. It means you get feedback from people with a wide range of views, which helps to make the show as accessible and inclusive as possible.

2. Recognise the importance of people’s experience

If you’re doing a show about transgender issues then you need trans people in the team. They bring valuable, real-life, detailed experience. At present, there aren’t enough plays exploring this area and there are too few roles anyway. To cast non-trans people in these roles is a wasted opportunity.

3. Take risks

Don’t be afraid to push the form and challenge yourself. Throw yourself into it. Cast with courage and imagination and try things out. You’ll find it injects energy and provides insights.

4. Collaborate

Listening to your diverse, carefully chosen cast and team is crucial. Take on board what they say. Trust your team and they’ll trust you. Good work is a real credit to all people who collaborate on it. It isn’t all about one person.

5. Keep learning

Every day is a school day. Keep pushing yourself. Dancing Bear has been in development for three years and I’m still learning lots – how to integrate BSL signing and audio description so that users feel included rather than catered for, for example.

Dancing Bear is at the Palace Theatre, Manchester on February 6 and 7, and West Yorkshire Playhouse on April 6 and 7