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Equity & Diversity Policy

Equity &


Geffen Playhouse (“The Geffen”) is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive culture through the arts with our priority in diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental elements of the ways in which we work every day.

Our aim is to promote diversity and eliminate discrimination with a systems-based approach, meaning that we focus on intentionally identifying and dismantling systemic barriers that perpetuate inequitable outcomes, so we can assure the fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement of all employees.

We hold a deep focus on creating and maintaining an inclusive environment in which all individuals and groups can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to participate and bring their full, authentic selves to work.

This policy reinforces our commitment to providing equality and fairness to all employed across the theater and not providing less favorable facilities or treatment based on, but not limited to age, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, ethnicity, language, military or veteran status, nationality, socioeconomic status, education, mental or physical abilities, religion, learning styles, sex and sexual orientation (“All Communities”). We are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

All employees, whether they are part-time, full-time, or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. All employees will be given support and shall receive encouragement to develop their full potential and utilize their unique talents. The Geffen is committed to cultivating and maintaining an actively supportive space where any individual who feels they have been subjected to discrimination can raise their concerns so that corrective measures can be applied. When the Geffen selects candidates for employment, promotion, training, or any other benefit, it will be on the basis of their aptitude, ability, seniority and experience.

The Geffen commits to:


  • Cultivating an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all employees are recognized and valued
  • Providing all employees with a visible and supported platform
  • Maintaining a system with greater transparency around organizational decisions and the implementation of resulting actions that keeps all employees informed
  • Supporting a more candid collaboration and ensuring openness on diversity, equity and inclusion dynamics in the rehearsal room and production process
  • Working to align our values with national, local and hyper-local partners


  • Increasing the presence of individuals from All Communities in Geffen management and staff to better reflect the robust diversity of the city of Los Angeles
  • Creating and monitoring an inequity-free environment as part of the overall HR responsibility for the theater
  • Establishing a best-practices guide on behavior in the workplace for employee reference and education
  • Developing and committing to diverse hiring standards
  • Investigating and resolving moments of inequity, discrimination, or conflict in a timely manner
  • Establishing direct communication and resolution rooted in the stated values of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
  • Reviewing all employment practices and procedures and updating as necessary so that fairness is maintained at all times
  • Zero tolerance for any form of intimidation, bullying, retaliation or harassment, and to discipline those that breach such standards


  • Working to increase communication between front of house, box office, production, marketing, artistic and development through more staff and/or employee meetings
  • Inviting visiting artists into the heart of the organization through social gatherings, meaningful conversations, and introductions to community partners
  • Encouraging and implementing affinity spaces


  • Fundraising and establishing paid fellowships/internships/residencies for BIPOC artists in directing, playwriting, design, marketing, and physical production/stage management


  • Commissioning, developing and producing works by writers from All Communities
  • Increasing involvement of artists from All Communities across production
  • Hiring outside readers from All Communities to evaluate submitted material
  • Soliciting material actively from alum artists of All Communities and commit to network with theaters whose focus is on work by marginalized playwrights in order to expand the material considered for season planning
  • Ensuring best practices in the rehearsal room to create a safe environment for all
  • Increasing accessibility and ADA compliance for production spaces


  • Implementing a rigorous and thoughtful approach to what is programmed and how it is introduced through marketing in order to make the most meaningful engagement with All Communities
  • Increasing accessibility to affordable tickets for All Communities and advertising to those communities for all shows, as opposed to only shows that have storylines directly connected and related to that community
  • Making ticket information as clear and accessible as possible

Our policies and practices are aligned on a shared language for diversity, equity and inclusion, which is woven into our philosophy: Diversity: Psychological, physical and social differences that occur among any and all individuals; including All Communities.

Equity: The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Equity is when the structures, systems, practices and cultural narratives in an organization provide true situational fairness and equal opportunity.

Inclusion: The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to fully participate and bring their full, authentic selves to work. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in the words/actions/thoughts of people.

BIPOC: Black and Indigenous People of Color – An umbrella term used to refer to people from racial and ethnic groups who are not White and represent over 80% of the world’s population. The identifying language of all of our communities is ever-evolving but in no way negates the necessity of the work.

This policy is intended to work in conjunction with, but not replace, supplement or amend other related policies and programs, such as our equal employment opportunity, anti-harassment, anti-bullying, accommodation and open-door policies, our anti-harassment training, and / or any collective bargaining agreement terms or conditions. This policy is not intended to restrict communications or actions protected or required by state or federal law.

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