AFFIRMATIONS – PRAIRIE THEATRE EXCHANGE
Prairie Theatre Exchange is a contemporary theatre company located on Treaty 1 Territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The plays we produce and the work we do are an expression of our priorities. The way we create and present these plays exemplifies the ethics, philosophy and guiding principles of the company.
It is essential that our theatre be:
We all need to feel safe, supported and seen in creative spaces. This is made possible when conditions have been created that invite us to bring all of ourselves and our voices to the space.
Equally, we recognize that audiences are invited to connect with theatre in a profound way when they know that companies will support and respect their safety and their humanity.
This document was created by nine individuals (2 staff, 7 artists) as both a practical and aspirational offering. Like the plays we create, the creation of these affirmations was a collaboration.
Affirm: 1) state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.
2) declare one's support for; uphold; defend.
Affirmation: 1) the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed.
2) emotional support or encouragement.
An Acknowledgement, An Affirmation
Historically, our theatre has not fully served or represented the city we live in on our stages and off. We are committed to making meaningful and lasting changes (in staff, board, and our programming) to build trust in those whom PTE has underserved and underrepresented.
Prairie Theatre Exchange affirms the following:
- We fully support staff and artists’ expressions of their needs to be safe.
- We are committed to a work environment that is free from all forms of harassment and actively cultivate an inclusive work place.
- We support the self-identification and self-determination of all artists, staff and patrons. This includes the ability to advocate for accurate representation of one’s cultural identity, gender expression and lived experience.
- We act immediately and meaningfully on artist, staff, and patron concerns as they are presented.
- We recognize the courage it takes to bring forward experiences of harmful behaviour and will support artists and staff through a process of reporting.
- We recognize due to the content of any given production, there is the potential for artists and patrons to be triggered. In these instances, we will support artists and patrons in every way we can.
- We recognize artists benefit from having an advocate in the rehearsal space who shares their lived experience. We will support artists by making these resources available.
- We have a particular responsibility to create opportunities for IBPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, disabled, Deaf, and emerging artists to train and practice.
- Our relationships with artists and staff extend beyond the duration of their contracts with us. This can include mentorship, consultation, or connecting individuals with resources.
- When on tour with a PTE production, we recognize that conditions (venues, audiences, communities) will vary. PTE is committed to engaging with venues who are equally committed to prioritizing and adhering to these affirmations. PTE will support artists in the event that any conflict arises.
- We will provide necessary time and space for cultural, religious or spiritual practice.
- All of us have access needs. We will seek to support staff, artists, and patrons’ needs while respecting individuals’ right to privacy and confidentiality.
We know that these affirmations are only as meaningful as our actions in proving, supporting and being accountable to them. This means a constant evolution, and a continued commitment to listening and acting.
We invite your thoughts. We invite your criticism. We invite your provocations. We also take very seriously the emotional labour inherent in inviting feedback. Every message we receive will be accepted with respect and treated with care.
The following are ways you can reach PTE with concerns or ideas:
Contacting our Artistic Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting our Managing Director at email@example.com
Contacting our Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting third party mediator Priti Shah at email@example.com
PTE staff and Board of Directors are deeply grateful to the artists from our community who participated in and supported the creation of this document. While the artists who are a part of the affirmation committee have helped shape the ideas and the language in this document, they are not responsible for the operations of our company. It is now PTE’s sole responsibility to live this document in all our practice.
This document is a living document. It will and must change as time passes. It will be shaped and informed by the experiences of the artists and audiences we serve.
The Affirmation Committee:
Thomas Morgan Jones