Black Theatre Live


Act for Change 2017 news

23 January 2017

The Act For Change Project returned to the Young Vic Theatre for a discussion and event on Diversity in Training for the Industry.

Professional training has been on our radar since the outset, even before the first debate at the Young Vic in 2014. How will the industry become more diverse if it isn’t being fed with diverse graduates? Are training organisations - drama schools, universities, colleges, technical courses, and admin and design courses - starving the industry of diversity by failing to specifically target diverse recruits? Or are new professionals from diverse backgrounds being ignored by an industry set in its ways? Which seems truer (or is it a tie)? And what’s to be done?

Things do change. For that change to soak into a culture, we all have to think bigger, and that takes a bit of work. And that work will only bear fruit if it is done both at the individual level and across an organisation. As with many of the 'good bits' of making art, the parts affect the whole; the general has to work in tandem with the specific.

For us at AFC it's all about questions. If you ask questions and let them be asked of you - even if their answers aren't immediately available - it opens up thinking. That's why we like debate events. We try to structure them so that the conversations have to spill over and spread out after it’s finished. The idea is for people to have to take conversations with them when they go.

A video of our last event, held on Tuesday 18 October 2017 at the Young Vic Theatre, will soon be available on the Act For Change YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, a summary of the event is available on our website, here: Diversity In Training for the Industry. It includes links to the presentation, an explanation of where the statistics used originated, and access to a gallery of photos taken at the event.

In addition to what was happening at the Young Vic, discussion flowed over onto Twitter and social media, with attendees and those checking in from elsewhere using the event hashtag: #AFCDEBATE16.

We've created a Storify with some of the Twitter reaction.

Act For Change Podcast

Following the event, we took the opportunity to interview members of the panel and others in attendance to hear in more detail some of their thoughts on the subject of improving diversity in the industry, through training and beyond. These recordings will form the basis of our new Act For Change podcast series.

This will be released episodically over the next few months, but the first episode is launching today - you read it here first! Below you can see the schedule and interviewees. Head on over to our Soundcloud page to hear the latest.
Monday 23 January 2017

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
Links: Stream (Soundcloud) | Download (mp3) | Transcript (pdf)

Monday 30 January 2017     
(Director of RADA)

Monday 6 February 2017
Celia Greenwood & Steve Medlin

WAC Arts

Monday 13 February 2017
Julie Harkin

Julie Harkin Casting

Monday 20 February 2017
Jonathan Suffolk

National Theatre
(Head of Technical Department)

Monday 27 February 2017
Iqbal Khan


Monday 6 March 2017
Nadia Albina

(Actor/Act for Change trustee)
As always, we're keen to hear your thoughts, both on the questions posed at the event and on any discussion points or ideas that grew from it. Of course, it's also about 'what comes next' in terms of action, for all concerned.

Some questions we're still asking

  • Some changes can and do happen overnight - but others don’t. Why?
  • Who is responsible for monitoring and measuring change?
  • If (or when) every party is doing their best, individually, how do we capitalise on this to supercharge change, collectively?
  • What can you do?
  • Who have you contacted?
  • What changes have you made or recommended?

[email protected]