An online toolkit that aims to make the UK’s rehearsal rooms and stages more diverse has been launched, which its founders hope will “convert conversation into action”.
The Theatre Casting Toolkit is for anyone involved in the casting process, including directors, casting directors and producers, and was developed by theatre company Tonic. It was commissioned by UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre.
It follows research by The Stage earlier this year, which found that black, Asian and minority ethnic performers and women were significantly more likely to be cast in an ensemble role than to be given a named role.
The new website will include a ‘tracker’ spreadsheet, to enable theatre companies to set targets for better representation on stage. The sheet will also allow them to record casting decisions and “collect nuanced data” across multiple productions.
In addition, there will be a checklist to help theatre companies ensure audition spaces are accessible, a section on the law around discrimination and a tool to “encourage broader thinking around the casting process”.
The website will also highlight existing organisations and initiatives that are succeeding at improving diversity.
Tonic founder Lucy Kerbel said: “By creating a hub of resources and practical tools – some designed by Tonic from scratch and others generated by experts from across theatre – we hope to convert conversation into action. The Toolkit is designed to be organic and adaptable, and we welcome feedback and suggestions from users.”
Kiln Theatre artistic director Indhu Rubasingham, who was involved in the consultation process, said the “toolkit provides extremely useful, inspiring, day-to-day support to make these intentions a reality in a very busy, time-precious industry”.