In the summer of 2020 a group of alumni raised their voices to call attention to racial inequalities and administrative negligence at Circle in the Square. We are grateful for their bravery in standing up and speaking out, and we honor the incredible effort it took to do this work.
The Theatre School fully recognizes that we have been complicit in the systematic racism that plagues both the business of theatre and the educational system that feeds it. We are committed to becoming a diverse, inclusive, staunchly anti-racist institution and are determined to educate our students in a way that will allow them to become agents of change in the larger artistic community.
With this goal as our focus, Circle has instituted significant change in all areas of our school including leadership, staff, faculty, curriculum, hiring practices, casting practices and communication practices.
As president, I am committed to implement profound and immediate change in addressing all of the inequities stated in the students’ list of demands and to bring restorative justice to our students and institution. I hear you and we are responding and taking action.
Issues for Transformation and Change:
- Bring change to oppression and abuse of power of past and present policy;
- To end the silence and inaction to racial trauma;
- To end cultural appropriation and systematic racism;
- To radically revise the curriculum of our education;
- To cease denial of BIPOC truths and experiences;
- To cultivate faculty education of diversity;
- To end the false neutrality of a white narrative, and to put an end to the status quo of the dominance of white, Euro-centric storytelling;
- To end the disregard of students’ voices and complaints;
- To create safe zones of a secure environment for BIPOC and LGBQT+ voices;
- To hiring BIPOC and LGBQT+ faculty;
- To bring full and complete accountability and transparency to our plan of action;
- To develop a timeline for all of these actions;
- And to do the internal work necessary to end all forms of white supremacy.
In order to institute these changes, we will:
- Bring in third party investigators;
- Remove faculty who are not committed to these changes;
- Make a formal apology to alumni and current students;
- Commit to bring diversity to admissions and alumni affairs;
- Implement inclusion and diversity training for staff and students;
- Address issues of access to mental health counseling;
- Make a statement of intention and a Strategic Plan for Diversity and Equity from Circle in the Square Theatre School prior to the academic year;
- Confer individual statements of intention from all faculty;
- Make concerted efforts to outreach to alumni regarding auditions;
- To actively practice anti-racism in all forms of our theater’s operations.