Dramatists Guild to Offer Inclusion Rider Language to Members

Industry News   Dramatists Guild to Offer Inclusion Rider Language to Members
The new resource will allow writers to ensure the hiring and casting of individuals from historically underrepresented communities when entering producing agreements.
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The Dramatists Guild, representing playwrights, librettists, lyricists, and composers, has created an inclusion rider that members can implement when negotiating with producers and other presenters of first-class productions. The optional resource would allow writers to ensure in their contracts that steps are made to ensure equitable and inclusive practices while assembling companies.

The suggested rider stipulates hiring objectives for bringing historically underrepresented groups—including BIPOC, API, MENASA, LGBTQIA+, non-binary, and disabled communities—into creative teams, crews, and casts. It also calls for "reasonable efforts" in conducting interviews and auditions for these positions, and reports to writers on such efforts.

The DG Business Affairs department conceived the living document with a task force that included DG Treasurer and Chair of the Guild’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Christine Toy Johnson and DG Council Presidnet Amanda Green, as well as Aisha DeCoteau, Ty Defoe, Chisa Hutchinson, Todd London, Emily Mann, Ralph Sevush, Emmanuel Wilson, Doug Wright, and Amy VonMacek.

Such an rider was also called for (independent from the Guild's initiative) in Black Theatre United’s recent New Deal for Broadway, which outlined a series of promises made by theatre owners, producers, unions, creatives, and casting directors. Writers and directors who were signatories assured their insistence on such a rider. In a more direct promise, the next item in the New Deal is a call to never assemble an all-white creative team on a production.

READ: Black Theatre United's 'New Deal' Promises EDIAB Training, Union Audits, Renamed Broadway Houses, More

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