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Equity ARC 2017: Offstage career awareness campaign to promote diversity

Equity members voting at the union’s Annual Representative Conference 2017. Photo: Philip Hartley Equity members voting at the union’s Annual Representative Conference 2017. Photo: Philip Hartley
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A new careers awareness campaign will be launched to champion non-performing roles within the entertainment industry.

The campaign will be run by Equity, after a motion was passed at the union’s Annual Representative Conference.

Highlighting the contribution of non-performers such as stage managers, directors and designers, the campaign will aim to make people working in such roles “visible and valued”.

Alex Burke, from Equity’s stage management committee, said: “I am lucky to be a stage manager, because my parents were very supportive of using art and drama in the same way as maths, science and engineering.

“I’m lucky I went to a school that had the same values, and at 18 I was at a sixth-form college where I met somebody who was a technical stage manager for my college theatre and said to me: ‘This could be your job.’

“If somebody like me, from an affluent background, from a white, middle-class family, didn’t know anything about non-performing careers, then how can the rest of our children, especially in the current state of education, know anything about it either?”

She added: “We hear a lot, and rightly so, about black and ethnic minority performers being represented on stage and screen, which is fantastic, but what we don’t hear about is the non-performers. We don’t hear much about directors, writers and particularly stage managers.

“It’s really important these people come from the same kind of backgrounds as reflect our communities.”

Full coverage of Equity ARC 2017

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