Brave Creative Spaces

Brave Creative Spaces: Commitment to Respectful Exchange

Read the guide here

As a community, we can create the change we seek for our industry.”

The national Council of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

WHAT:
How can we do the brave work of advocating for safety, responsibility and respect in theatre workspaces?

Imago Theatre is hosting a Long Table discussion for Montreal’s English theatre community to advocate for the brave work of creating accountable and respectful theatre workspaces with zero tolerance for bullying, personal and sexual harassment, and abuse of any kind.

WHEN AND WHERE:
Sunday January 21 from 2-4pm at the Centaur Theatre

WHO:
Montreal’s English Theatre Community:
-Established and emerging theatre artists
-Theatre companies

Practices and policies which create safer spaces, promote consent, and respect individual boundaries will ultimately lead to more successful artistic processes and better theatre.”
The Theatre Arts Collective for Consent and Respect

WHY?

The Brave Creative Spaces Long Table is a compassionate response to unacceptable work cultures in theatre and an unsilencing call to action to prioritize each other’s psychological and physical safety in order to thrive in a respectful work environment.

The objective for the Brave Creative Spaces conversation is to collaborate with and learn from emerging and established theatre artists to develop vocabulary and resources to address the need for safer theatre workspaces.

The Montreal English theatre community’s experiences, questions, proposals and needs shared through this exchange will be recorded to inform a draft of a Brave Creative Spaces Pledge that can be accessed as we collectively move forward in our commitment to a zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind.

At the end of the event we will be asking for volunteers to help draft the Brave Creative Spaces Pledge. If you have an interest in volunteering please contact us at erin@imagotheatre.ca

Goals for the Brave Creative Spaces Long Table:

-offer an opportunity for our community to come together and exchange through open dialogue
-begin a discussion around the values that define brave creative workspaces
-gain a better understanding of what defines harassment and abuse of power
-create vocabulary and learn best practices that can help us deal with difficult situations
-inspire individuals and companies to create in an environment that fosters trust

 

WHAT IS A LONG TABLE DISCUSSION?

From: Strategies for Engaging the Public through Performance, Place and the Everyday

“The Long Table is a dinner party structured by etiquette, where conversation is the only course. The project ingeniously combines theatricality and models for public engagement. It is at once a stylised appropriation and an open-ended, non-hierarchical format for participation. Both of these elements – theatrical craft and political commitment – are mutually supporting in this widely and internationally toured work. The (often-feminised) domestic realm here becomes a stage for public thought.” -read more at http://publicaddresssystems.org/projects/long-table/, or contact us directly with your questions at erin@imagotheatre.ca

HOW DOES THE LONG TABLE WORK?

Glossary:
The Speakers are those who are seated at the table
The Listeners are those who are not seated at the table

There will be a continuous rotation between Speakers and Listeners though The Long Table will start with invited Speakers.

Step 1: RSVP TO THE BRAVE CREATIVE SPACES LONG TABLE
RSVP to attend HERE before January 19th

Step 2:
THE TABLE IS SET: CATALYSTS FOR CONVERSATION
The conversation will begin with several invited Speakers who will be exploring the question, How can we do the brave work of advocating for safety, responsibility  and respect in theatre workspaces?

The Listeners (those sitting outside the table) are asked to spectate and listen. In the interest of giving space to voices that are not often heard, we strongly encourage the participation of differently abled individuals, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and members of the LGBTQIA community to speak at the Long Table.

Typically there is no moderator for Long Table discussions. In this instance, due to the sensitive nature of the exchange, we will be calling upon the expertise of a human resource professional to mediate the conversation. Table guests are encouraged to use the craft paper and pencils provided to write and draw their reflections on the discussion as it unfolds.

Step 3: PULL UP A CHAIR: SHIFTING POINTS OF VIEW

Whenever a Listener has a question or comment, they are encouraged to take a seat at the table. A Listener then becomes a Speaker and a Speaker becomes a Listener. The Long Table aims at a continuous rotation to ensure that every voice has an opportunity to be at the literal and figurative table. Every person has the opportunity to be  heard and every guest offers another way of exploring the question: how can we do the brave work of advocating for safety, responsibility and respect in theatre  workspaces?

Attend the Brave Creative Spaces Long Table

Register here

Brave Creative Spaces: Commitment to respectful exchange

The objective for the Brave Creative Spaces conversation is to collaborate with and learn from emerging and established theatre artists to develop vocabulary and resources to address the need for safer theatre workspaces.

The Montreal English theatre community’s experiences, questions, proposals and needs shared through this exchange will be recorded to inform a draft of a Brave Creative Spaces Pledge that can be accessed as we collectively move forward in our commitment to a zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind.

At the end of the event we will be asking for volunteers to help draft the Brave Creative Spaces Pledge. If you have an interest in volunteering please contact us at erin@imagotheatre.ca

Terms of Engagement for Respectful Exchange

As an impartial facilitator of The Long Table, we acknowledge the sensitive nature of this conversation and it is our hope that the dialogue will be structured in a respectful and constructive way that focuses on forward thinking solutions. In participating in The Long Table you commit to upholding the following terms of engagement for respectful exchange.

The Brave Creative Spaces Long Table is a platform for….

coming together to exchange, question and learn through open dialogue
voicing your questions, needs and desires for a harassment free workplace
listening and responding with respect and compassion
proposing forward-thinking solutions rooted in our community’s experience and knowledge
considering the networked context of our community’s needs

The Brave Creative Spaces is not a platform for…

-airing grievances
-assigning blame
-character defamation
-punishment or revenge
-lack of consideration for privacy
-retroactive negative thinking
-monopolization of time and space

The Process
The ethos behind The Long Table format is that everyone is given equal opportunity to share and exchange. Visit our website here for more information on the format of the Long Table discussion and for resources.

The Brave Creative Spaces Long Table will be adapted in the following ways:

  1. There will be an Equity representative present to provide resources and assistance.
  2. Post-It Notes will be available for people who want to be more anonymous in their participation.
  3. Resources and vocabulary about anti-abuse policies will be available on-site for people to read and take inspiration from.
  4. There will be a note taker assigned to record information for use in creating the pledge. The conversation will not be recorded in any other kind of way.
  5. The expectation is that the group will self-moderate using 2 different conversational tools: Flags and Parking Lot. Participants can raise their hand and indicate Flag or Parking at any time regardless of whether or not they are seated at the table.
  6. Individuals are welcome to submit resources, questions or concerns ahead of time via email at erin@imagotheatre.ca  or via our website. These resources may inform the structure of the pledge.

Flag –When you believe that an individual is violating the terms of engagement outlined you may raise your hand and say, “Flag” to advocate for continued respectful exchange.

Parking Lot– You may raise your hand and say, “Parking Lot” which simply means, “I would like to talk to you about this one-on-one after The Long Table.” There will be time allotted after The Long Table for individuals to meet on a one-on-one basis in “Parking Lot.”

 

Resources

The Royal Court-Code of Behaviour; Preventing Sexual Harassment and Abuses of Power
The Royal Court Harassment and Bullying Policy
T
heatre arts collective for consent and respect- Best Practices Document
Canadian Actor’s Equity Association’s Not in Our Space initiative
AfterMeToo Resources

We want to hear from you
If you have any insight and information to share with us such as articles, resources or best practices that could inform the Long Table and enrich the conversation, please attach them below.
Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.