Berkeley Shakespeare Company is proud to affirm the practice of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) in all aspects of our work. In the wake of “The Living Document” and the subsequent inequities that were brought to light in the Bay Area theatre community, Berkeley Shakes is committed to centering considerations of justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all aspects of our productions in order to ensure that our performances are a truly welcoming artistic experience for all.
We acknowledge that the production and discussion of Shakespeare has historically been exclusionary and classist.
We seek to produce work that is exclusively anti-racist.
We acknowledge that the work of William Shakespeare often includes and promotes racism, sexism, and misogyny; while we work to preserve the poetry and beauty of Shakespeare’s timeless works, we also work diligently to decolonize these works, reframing these stories through a contemporary lens which challenges the outdated assumptions of Shakespeare’s times and directly confronts the inequities and disparities present in our own modern era.
We seek to promote gender inclusivity, celebrate and center People of the Global Majority, uplift women, and reshape our understanding of Shakespeare as a universally accessible body of work into one that truly includes the rich diversity and experience of life.
We acknowledge that the land we produce work on was stolen from its indigenous stewards. We offer land acknowledgements at every show and offer resources during our curtain speech to help audience members learn how to support the living members of local tribes.
We believe that theater is a community for the people and by the people. To lower the barriers of access to theater, we offer free and discounted tickets for community members experiencing financial hardship, students, veterans, seniors and returned citizens.
We prioritize the casting and hiring of actors, designers, directors, and crew of People of the Global Majority.
We practice body and disability inclusion, ensuring that rehearsal and performance venues are accessible, and modifying performances and rehearsal to allow for safe and expressive physical expression.
Our board is made up of a diverse body of actors and administrative professionals; we will always prioritize the selection of board members that reflect diverse lived experience and affirm a commitment to an anti-racist, inclusionary, and equitable body of work.
We practice lateral leadership, ensuring that conventional systems which uphold white supremacy and contribute to a toxic working environment are not present.
We center safety, presenting all actors with a bill of rights and giving them direct lines of communication with which to report inappropriate behavior.
We practice radical transparency, and include all stakeholders in production process conversations, ensuring full inclusion and engagement by giving space for all to voice opinions and have meaningful impact on the trajectory of our work.