PCPA's Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

With a commitment to transparency in our on-going work to ensure PCPA is an equitable, diverse, and inclusive company for all, we would like to share a progress update on the EDI efforts in which we have been engaged. We acknowledge that Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is not merely a set of tasks or actions but a continual practice. As such, we will continue to share updates as we continue this imperative work.

EDI Committee

Ivana Maratas – HR & EDI Manager
Caroline Rein
Marilet Martinez
Michael Gould
Gillian Rains
Donna Cantu



At PCPA we believe that diversity makes us stronger, enriches our art and is a source of joy. We believe that our understanding of the principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion must continually grow and be actively practiced in our behavior and relationships. We will create a safe and welcoming working environment that will actively interrupt aggressions and behaviors that hinder our efforts to maintain an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment. We will make space for open communication that enhances relationships with all staff and community members, particularly those belonging to historically marginalized groups. PCPA is committed to anti-racism and prohibits discrimination against anyone based on factors including, but not limited to: race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), or socioeconomic standing. We commit to serving our community by inspiring our current audience, cultivating our future audience, and preparing the next generation of theatre professionals.

PCPA EDI Purpose Statement

The general actions are how the committee “walks out” our mission.” 

 The Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) EDI Committee, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, is committed to learning, and developing leadership and care practices in this space. 

Our goal is to provide a safe and brave space to have an open and honest conversation about challenging topics, facilitate student and staff forums, provide training and workshops to expand our understanding as a community, hear needs and concerns from our PCPA community, develop and provide tools to address concerns, evaluate policies, and support the implementation of positive, inclusive changes going forward. 

Established and on-going EDI TASKS AND ACTIONS

  • Comprehensive review/revision of all policies, procedures, resources in the Student Handbook including Harassment and Discrimination Policies, Procedures, Support Resources and Communication Pathways. (June ’20 – Feb. ’21)
  • Established C.L.E.A.R. Practice – a standardized approach to Stage Intimacy for conservatory training and productions (Jan. ‘19)
  • Conducted surveys of staff, students, alumnus, and audience members on a range of experiences with PCPA, and used that data to focus our EDI efforts (May ’20 – Oct ’20)
  • Review and adaptation of Production and Instruction Schedule – possible shifting to some 5-day work weeks and phasing out 10/12 technical rehearsals (Oct. ’20 – March ’21)
  • Review and adaptation of Conservatory Curriculum – content/materials, pedagogical practices – by faculty for Technical Theatre and Professional Acting Training (June ’20 – ongoing)
  • Established EDI Committee (June ’20) and Guidelines (Aug./Sept. ’20) for Committee constituents and activities.

Select EDI Committee Tasks:

  • Established a specific confidential email address for direct link to EDI Committee – EDI@pcpa.org
  • Established a Company EDI Newsletter – “monthly” to “quarterly”
  • Established a Company EDI Town Hall meeting – every other month
  • Creating new EDI Values Statement
  • Integrating EDI Values into Job Description language, duties, qualifications (to, ultimately, be linked to employee performance evaluation) (Feb. ’21)
  • Creating a First Rehearsal Handout of Harassment and Discrimination Policies, Procedures and Support Resources for each production (March ’21)
  • Establishing a practice of electing a non-union Deputy to mirror the Actor’s Equity representation on each production. (Oct. ’20 for future implementation)
  • EDI Assessment and development of new Best Practices for the Costume Shop – design, costume fittings, communication
  • Development of Anti-racist Continuum to be used as a diagnostic tool (Jan. – March ’21)
  • Creating a Land Acknowledgement to recognize, celebrate, and honor that PCPA’s work takes place of the homelands of the Chumash Tribe (Sept. ’20 – ongoing)
  • Commitment to create and hire a dedicated PCPA human resource position (Feb. ’22)
  • Created a New Hire EDI Packet
  • Creating a new EDI Purpose Statement
  • Defining our definition of equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Collaborated with Authentic Arts & Media for a staff organizational assessment (survey) on EDI & workplace culture

Full Staff Training

  • Just Communities – Unconscious Bias
  • Rooted Dialogue Collective – Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
  • Jacqueline E. Lawton – Equity , Diversity, Inclusion
  • Pacific Pride – Gender, Identity and LGBTQ+
  • ScenicG – EDI – Assessment and Best practices for Shops
  • Melia Dunn and Lance Wright – Gender Equity
  • Mindful Artists Trainings – Carey Anderson
  • National Summit on Racism in the American Theatre with the Ten Chimneys Foundation and Black Theatre United – Artistic Director and Managing Director participated (along with 72 other theatre): six day, 34 hour convocation, over six months, and additional committee work (7 committees, developing recommendations on Equity Practices, Theatre Board Embracing Anti-Racism, Marketing/Community Development, Audience Agreements, Artistic/Producing Processes, Anti-Bias equals Better Business, Development of Future Leadership/Succession Planning)
  • White Fragility Training with Melia Dunn
  • Accessibility Training with Dr. Stephanie Crosby
  • Jasmine Snipes- Implicit Bias
  • Bridget McCarthy- CReATE Resilience and Trauma Education
  • Bridget McCarthy-Conflict Navigation Training with leaders and supervisors
  • Authentic Arts & Media (Beatrice Thomas & Kyle DeVries)- Staff Survey & Interviews Findings & Discoveries Debrief

PCPA Led Discussions and Forums

  • Discussion and Integration of We See You White American Theatre – in Technical and Acting Conservatories and in bimonthly staff meetings
  • Company EDI Town Hall Discussions
  • Technical and Acting Conservatory Student Forums – facilitated by EDI Committee and led by student representatives
  • Black Theatre Community Enrichment Class – taught by Yusef Seevers facilitated by Kitty Balay

Additional Individual or Faculty panels/training attend by PCPA Staff

And more…

If you have any questions, please email the PCPA EDI Committee at edi@pcpa.org

EDI Newsletter Archive

EDI Definitions

The EDI Committee at PCPA has collaboratively defined equity, diversity, and inclusion as follows:


We believe and understand that equity seeks to level the playing field and elevate access, opportunities, and success to marginalized groups and voices. We move forward in interrupting and challenging the status quo, and unfair practices, and eliminating biases by reflecting on our actions, words, and thoughts. 


We expect, honor, and respect differences in this creative space. We recognize the value of engaging with diversity in our work. Including but not limited to social identities: gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disabilities, class, etc. Other personal attributes: expertise, values, worldviews, mindsets, ethics, experiences.  


We pursue perspectives and contributions of all people that build a culture of belonging and care by actively inviting and incorporating the needs and viewpoints of the full diversity of the organization and the community we serve. A culture that enables different people to excel in authentic ways. 

Because Black Lives Matter

Because Black Lives Matter and Black Artists Matter we want to do more than raise our voices or simply profess our solidarity with the voices raised for change. We want to take action and to initiate those actions with immediacy – actions that will result in new and better policies and practices in our professional operations and modes of community service. We also want to respect that real systemic change requires that we work deeply, remaining both forceful and methodical in our commitment to long-term anti-racist actions and inclusive solutions. We are eager to remain supple, to employ discipline to soften ourselves when discomfort and even deep pain arises, rather than drawing back into retrenched modes of thinking and working. This is something that artists, and students of art, regularly practice and we want to get even better at it.

Along with our community, we feel a strong impulse to act. We are also keen to invest fully in the critical step of listening – making more space for dialogue and input from voices that have been marginalized. How we proceed, and who is involved in the conversation, will be critical to making the real, positive changes that are required and toward which we aspire. As Albert Einstein reminded us, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Our problem with racism and white-supremacy can have overt manifestations, but we also have a history of racism as a serious but sometimes symptomless virus that silently and pervasively sickens our work and relationships.

Now, when another pandemic has made ‘business as usual’ impossible, it is the perfect time for us to question what our ‘business as usual’ has been. We don’t want to proceed with our past standards of operation without interrogating them for overt and subtle symptoms of anti-blackness, or other damaging biases toward BIPOC and other marginalized groups. A key feature of our on-going mission is to set new standards of excellent artistry, ethics, and professional practice for the future of the theatre. Now is always a good time to do such work.

This is a critical time, a great time, for listening – and for thoughtfulness about how, and to whom, we’re listening. We admire and support our colleagues and sister companies that have already developed robust action plans and articulated metrics for improvement. While we are deepening our commitment to equity and inclusion, we are currently at a place of listening, and continuing education. We’ll continue to listen, formally and informally. One of the formal ways we’ll move forward with this work is through a peer lead task force that will include staff, faculty, students and discipline specific experts, to assess organizational policies and programming on an ongoing basis, improving our perspective toward anti-racist and other equity, diversity and inclusion best practices. Then, to develop mechanisms to utilize in a measured, but continuous, improvement cycle.

As we probe into our ways of thinking and being in our work and relationships, we’ll endeavor to retain our humility, good humor and keep compassionate humanity leading the way – cultivating our personal lives and setting our hearts right.

We have a great deal of work to do.