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Response to #TheatresPullUpOrShutUp Theatre Call to Action

NYT Response to #TheatresPullUporShut Up 

We recognise and welcome calls for transparency and change in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Below is the start of our response at National Youth Theatre, including initial representation statistics in response to #TheatresPullUporShutUp, immediate changes that we have made and actions we are committed to in the coming months and beyond. 

Context 

Below is data that we’ve collected by sending surveys to our full-time staff, board and freelance staff and using data provided to us by our staff and members. We acknowledge there are gaps in our current data collection, especially in terms of freelance data and one of the commitments we’re making is introducing a better system of collecting this data consistently. We also recognise that some of the categories used in the historical data collection below are flawed and are working to change how we ask our staff and members to provide us with this data. 

Our Staff Team 2020 (17 in total*)

6% Identify as Black 
6% identify as Mixed - White and Black Caribbean
6% Identify as Mixed - White and Asian
6% Identify as White - Scottish
24% Identify as White - Irish 
42% Identify as White - British 

12% identify as disabled 
88% identify as non-disabled 

71% Identify as Female
29% Identify as Male

0% Identify as Non-Binary 
0% Identify as Gender Non-Conforming 

88% attended a state school
6% attended a fee-paying school
6% preferred not to answer this question 

*100% of our Executive Team (3) identify as White British or White Irish.  

Our Board of Trustees (15 in total) 

6% identify as Black or Black British - Caribbean
6% identify as mixed White and Black Caribbean 
6% identified as ‘other Asian Background’ on our form  
6% identified as ‘other white background’ on our form 
73% identified as White British 

Artists Under Full Commission (currently 6 in total)

17% identify as Black / Black British Caribbean
17% identify as Black / Black British African 
33% identify as White British 
17% identity as White Welsh 
17% identified on our form as ‘Other White Background’

17% identify as disabled 
83% identify as non-disabled 

83% identify as female 
17% identity as male 
0% identify as Non-Binary 
0% identify as Gender Non-Conforming

Artists commissioned previously  

We are in the process of gathering statistics for how lead artists on our past productions in recent years self-identify and will publish this data publicly once it is available. You can read an archive list of our productions, including lead creatives here

Freelancers

We surveyed freelancers who worked for us in the financial year ending in March 2020 and below is a break-down of 106 of those who responded to our survey ( less than 50% of those we sent it to.) We recognise that this data doesn’t fully represent everyone who has worked for us in a freelance role and are committing to introducing a better system of collecting this data and publishing more complete statistics, including in regards to gender and disability, in due course.

7% identify as Black or Black British African or Black or Black British Caribbean
1% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean
2% identify Asian Indian
1% identify as Mixed White and Asian
1% Chose to self-identify as ‘Mixed race’
1% identify as Mixed White European and Arab / North African
1% identify as British Mauritian
1% identify as Jewish
72% identify as White British, Cornish, Irish, Scottish or Welsh
7%  identified as ‘other White Background’ on our form
4% said how they identify is not listed on our form
3% preferred not to say

Our 2019 NYT REP Company - Our free 9-month full-time talent development programme made up of 16 actors

13% identify as Black British
6% identify as Black African
6% identify as Black Caribbean 
6% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean
6% identify as Asian Indian 
6% identify as Mixed White and Asian 
50% identify as White British 
6% identified as ‘Other’ on our form.

Our 2020 REP Company - Our free 9-month full-time talent development programme made up of 16 actors (as of 31/7/2020.)

44% identify as Black British or Black African 
6% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean
44% identify as White British 
6% identified as ‘White other’ on our form 

Our 2019/20 Playing Up Company - Our free part-time Access to Higher Education Company for 23 young people who are not in education or employment. 

12% identify as Black
4% identify as Black African
4% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean
4% identity as Mixed White and Black Caribbean and White and Black African
4% identify as Mixed White and North African 
4% identify as Mixed White and Asian
4% identify as Asian
1% identified as ‘Mixed other’ on our form
37% identify as White British 
4% identity as White 
4% identified as ‘White other’ on our form 

Our 2020 Membership - made up of approx 6000 young people aged 14-25 based across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 

8% identify as Black (including Black African, Black British, Black Caribbean and Black Other)
2% identify as Mixed White and Black African 
2% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean
4% identify as Asian (including Chinese, Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani and Other)
2% identify as Mixed White and Asian
2% identified as ‘Mixed Other’ on our form
4% identified as ‘Other’ on our form 
74% identity as White British
2% identify as White Irish 

Our 2020 New Membership Intake

Juniors - 402 young people aged 14-18 from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 

5% identify as Black British 
3% identify as Black African 
1% identify as Black Caribbean 
3% identify as Mixed White and Black African 
3% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean 
6% identify as Mixed Asian and White
1% identify as Asian Chinese 
3% identify as Asian Indian 
1% identify as Asian Pakistani
1% identify as Asian Other 
4% identified as Mixed Other on our form 
57% identify as White British
1% identify as White Irish
5% identified as ‘White other’ on our form
2% selected any ‘Other Ethnic Group’ on our form 
6% Not Known

Seniors, 632 young people aged 18-25 from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 
4% identify as Black British
4% identify as Black African
3% identify as Black Caribbean
2% identify as Mixed White and Black African
2% identify as Mixed White and Black Caribbean
4% identify as Mixed White and Asian
1% identify as Asian Indian
1% Identity as Asian Pakistani 
1% Identified as ‘Asian Other’ on our form 
3% Identified as ‘Mixed Other’ on our form 
61% Identify as White British 
3% Identify as White Irish 
7% Identified as ‘White other’ on our form 
3% selected ‘Other Ethnic Group’ on our form

2020 Youth Trustees (6 people in total)

16% identify as Mixed White and Black caribbean 
83% identify as White 

16% identify as disabled 
83% identify as non-disabled 

Bryan Forbes Directors Bursary Recipients 2014-2019 (6 in total)

16% identify as Black African
83% identify as White

Centre Stage Creatives (4 in total)

100% identify as White

50% identify as disabled
50% identify as non-disabled 

Associate Companies (1)

100% Black-led

Actions

  • A 360 degree external review into how National Youth Theatre safeguards against racism and discrimination commissioned by NYT Trustee David Lammy MP and led by Kwame Kwei-Armah, working with Amanda Parker, Sue Emmas and Jenny Afia.
  • The Board of Trustees holding the leadership to account on the delivery of this review, these actions and any reports of racism and how they have been dealt with at each bi-monthly meeting
  • A renewed accountability at Board Level through the establishment of an Equality Action Group, and Equality to join Safeguarding as a standing item on Board Agenda  
  • An acceleration of better representation at Board level through open advertisements and review by our Equality Action Group  
  • We commit to responding to the Theatre Call to Action #TheatresPullUporShutUp
  • Continuing Town Hall Meetings for our Black members, facilitated by paid Black creatives, to anonymously share their experiences and continuing member-led showcase opportunities for our Black members 
  • A new cross-organisations plan to tackle any occurrence of racism, including micro aggressions, across the charity 
  • An update to our HR processes and complaints procedure with expert consultants for creatives, full-time staff and young people, which guarantees anonymity and a direct route to the Board of Trustees, which every staff member receives an induction on, is published on the home page of our website alongside our Safeguarding Policy and alongside every contract issued. And updated data collected processes to enable more accurate and complete reporting around race, gender and disability.  
  • An update of the training for all of our of courses and talent development initiatives to challenge and understand the influence of white privilege and racism 
  • The creation of a new working group of NYT members, to work alongside our youth trustees, to hold the organisation to account, challenge our practices and maintain an open dialogue on inclusion, equality and white privilege within the organisation 
  • Continuing the engagement of paid industry advisors to act as critical friends to advise us on inclusive practice, equality and anti-racism including The PappyShow and Diversity School founding member Mumba Dodwell
  • Unconscious bias and inclusion training for all permanent members of staff at least x3 times a year and as part of new staff’s induction 
  • Updating our regular inclusion training for all freelance staff, course leaders and assistants to forefront tackling unconscious bias and microaggressions and challenge white privilege 
  • New Town Hall Meetings for our freelance creative staff and associate artists to create an open dialogue with our staff, with equality and Inclusion on the agenda of each meeting.

NYT Recruitment Transparency
As part of our ongoing commitment to make NYT more inclusive and representative, we’re publishing the below information about our recruitment processes for permanent and freelance staff. We’ll continue to review and refine these processes as part of our on-going work to increase transparency.

  • All permanent roles will be publicly advertised at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs and we will proactively work to encourage applications from people with characteristics currently under-represented in our permanent team. We also commit to notifying all applicants who have been unsuccessful. 
  • The opportunity to become a board member to be publicly advertised at least once every 24 months at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs 
  • The opportunity to become a youth trustee will be publicly advertised once every 18 months at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs, with proactive recruitment to ensure representation
  • If you want to apply to facilitate our auditions, masterclasses, Start-Ups and inclusion programme you can apply in September at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs 
  • If you want to apply to facilitate our intake courses you can do so in April at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs 
  • If you are putting on some work that you’d like one of our team to come and see you can send in a request to kirsten.komaru@nyt.org.uk  
  • If you want to pitch a creative idea to us for our Epics Stages Course, a Research and Development workshop or submit a script, you can do so in April at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs  
  • If you’re a director or technical theatre professional and are interested in working on our Productions or Backstage Courses, you can let us know between January and February at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs  
  • If you’re a project manager or arts administrator interested in working with us in a fixed-term capacity, you can let us know between March and May at www.nyt.org.uk/jobs 
  • If you’re interested in work-experience at National Youth Theatre you can let us know in January via jobs@nyt.org.uk, we’re particularly interested in hearing from young people from backgrounds underrepresented in our team, disabled young people and young people from our home borough of Islington. 

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