Dancing Sky Theatre Statement of Diversity and Inclusion
[Adopted October 22, 2023]
Dancing Sky Theatre is dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion in all its activities. For a small, rural-based theatre in the center of the Canadian prairie, working toward diversity and inclusion involves both acknowledging the theatre’s location and history, and reflecting the social changes that are ongoing in the communities that we serve. The theatre must therefore be a chronicler of the diverse stories that have brought us to where we are, and an agent of change as we seek out the stories that will chart our various futures.
Diversity is a moving target, reflecting the changing shape of our community. Serious attempts at inclusion must therefore be responsive to the needs and opportunities presented by the full human spectrum, from the Indigenous peoples who have lived in these lands for centuries, to the settlers who arrived in waves over the last 150 years and continue to come here from all parts of the world. The human community within Dancing Sky Theatre (staff, artists, board members, audiences) should reflect the diversity of the human environment that surrounds us. Our board brings a broad range of life experiences, work skills, and ethnic affiliations to the table. Board composition is reviewed and renewed annually, and we are committed to seeking out new members to add to the mix. Though our staff complement is small, and we mount only two or three shows a year, in our hiring of staff and artists we are mindful of the need to provide opportunities for new talents, especially from historically marginal or underrepresented groups. With our artistic hiring we support The Canadian Theatre Agreement’s call for both inclusive casting practices, and respectful consultation, collaboration, and representation.
While all theatres deal with the challenges posed by maintaining one’s loyal audience while also growing the audience by reaching out to new people, Dancing Sky Theatre lives with the additional challenge of its location. We perform in a town whose total population would not fill our performance space. As we head into our fourth decade we are committed to sustaining our success at drawing in audience not only from other towns nearby, but also the urban theatre hub of Saskatoon, forty minutes away. Finding programming that bridges the rural and urban audiences has been our strength, even as the meaning of rural experience in Saskatchewan shifts and evolves.
Dancing Sky Theatre remains dedicated to showcasing Saskatchewan talents, developing plays with both established and emerging playwrights, and using Saskatchewan-based actors, musicians, designers, and technicians. Moving forward, we are open to new collaborations with other companies, and welcome new performance methods, alternative notions of representation, nourishing productions that hybridize different theatrical traditions. We are confident that our Saskatchewan foundation contains scope for growth and innovation, especially as Saskatchewan itself undergoes ongoing cultural transformation, allowing new theatre voices to flourish and be heard.
* This is a living document and can be updated at any time*
Dancing Sky Theatre is proud and honored to be making art on the great plains of North America, also called Turtle Island and many other names. We strive to reflect rural realities in an urban-centric culture. We recognize that we share this landscape with various indigenous peoples (many signees to Treaty #6), members of The Metis Nation, several generations of settlers, as well as new immigrants to these lands. We also seek to share the space with the more than human world, both indigenous and immigrant. We aim to respect, and work in
harmony and balance with all the diversity of life that surrounds us.