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Diversity Statement

Little Lake Theatre Company celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2023. 

From its beginning, Little Lake has endeavored to evolve, focusing its early efforts on enhancing its ability to better entertain and expand its audiences. Those efforts have achieved great success. More recently, however, Little Lake has embarked on a journey to reexamine its purpose, and to address our shortcomings in serving that purpose.

Our community, both geographically and theatrically, is a diverse one. 

The community we should be serving includes people of diverse race, sexual orientation, ability, background, gender, gender expression, beliefs, culture, socio-economic standing, ethnic background, and age. We must determine whether our theater has been inclusive of all the people who make up our community. We must determine whether we are authentically and comprehensively serving that community and, if we are not, ensure that we effect the changes required to do so. We understand that both we and the community we serve will be enriched by our evolution to a truly diverse theater community.

Our goal is not only to stage high quality, entertaining productions that attract full houses; we believe the performing arts can and should be more. 

By telling stories, we expose our community to experiences, concepts and ideas that make them think beyond their own experiences. This can lead to ongoing discussions and evolution of thought, and, ideally, empathy for others outside their own circles – in other words, real societal change for the better. To bring those benefits to the entire community Little Lake must build a theater community of actors, playwrights, directors, board of directors, apprentices, funding sources, theater staff, and volunteers who are capable of and eager to tell everyone’s stories to audiences that reflect everyone that makes up our community. It is absolutely necessary that our theater community includes underrepresented and marginalized members of our community. Consequently, Little Lake will move towards our values of equity and inclusion with unrelenting determination. We will encourage everyone to think about what’s most useful to our community by being creative, being loving, ultimately, being stronger together.

Little Lake is fully committed to creating a Little Lake Theatre community that is diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive (DEAI). Little Lake has formed a diversity committee chaired by a Board member and backed by the full Board. The diversity committee is charged with formulating and implementing a DEAI strategic plan. This plan will be implemented in stages over the next several years. We understand that mistakes will be made. When that happens, they will be rectified. This is intended to be a living document to help our community hold us accountable to the values that we believe to be essential to Little Lake and its mission.

Little Lake commits to taking the following steps to transform itself into a theater community that people of all backgrounds are excited to be a part of:

  • Establish and implement a DEAI strategic plan.
  • Examine existing policies and practices for those that erect barriers that exclude people from our theater community on the basis of identity, and establish internal policies that strive to eliminate those barriers and to include and support all members of our community.
  • Establish internal channels of communication to permit problems within our theater community to be brought to the attention of those who can solve them, via such mechanisms as meetings, forums, surveys, and systems for soliciting and handling complaints from all segments of the theater community.
  • Through cultural competency and bias training, we will engage in further education to assure that we have the knowledge, skills, and practices to maintain a diverse and inclusive theater environment.
  • Institute mechanisms, data gathering procedures and metrics that allow us to chart our progress in reaching our DEAI goals, and the results of our efforts.
  • Create collaborative partnerships with groups of all identities in our community.
  • Establish leadership, staff and programming that results in diversity at every level of our theater.