Desoto Jackson Moderates Diversity in Education Session at Pittsburgh Town Hall

Posted on 12/13/2016 10:20:08 AM

Department of Theater and Dance’s professor Rachel DeSoto Jackson was invited to moderate a breakout session on diversity, equity, and inclusion within education at Equitable Casting: Town Hall for Pittsburgh’s Theatre Community. The event featured artists, educators, directors, and producers from the Pittsburgh region and was facilitated by Diep Tran, journalist and associate editor at American Theatre magazine.

The event hosted over 200 people and was live-streamed for those unable to attend in person: #equityartspgh.

The Town Hall included discussion on issues of author’s rights, representation, racial justice in theater, and the consequences of cultural appropriation. It concluded with strategies to increase awareness and examine the effects of best casting practices, and to acknowledge the challenges that exist for directors and producers in the casting process, It also provided tools and resources to address barriers.

Featured panelists/participants included:

Reginald Douglas—director/producer and City Theatre artistic producer

Adil Mansoor—theater artist/director, Hatch Arts Collective and Dreams of Hope

Gab Cody—playwright, Dramatists Guild regional representative

Monteze Freeland—actor/director/playwright, founder and artistic director of the LAB Project

Siovhan Christensen—actor/teaching artist, program manager at the Heinz Endowments

Sol Crespo—theater artist, creative partner at Flux Theatre Ensemble (NY); ensemble member with Pregones Theater/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (NY)

Ricardo Vila-Roger—performer, director, and theater arts professor at University of Pittsburgh

Tiffany Wilhelm—deputy director, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Stephen Santa—performer/director/teaching artist, founder of Jumping Jack Theatre Company

Jackie Baker—performer/director, general manager of Bricolage Production Company

Department of Theater and Dance