MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS VALUES STATEMENT

 

MEMBERSHIP AND EDUCATION VALUES

We hold the mission, vision, and values of Playwrights’ Center at the core of all of our programming and engagement with our PWC community. 

We welcome, value, and celebrate students of all abilities, ages, cultures, ethnicities, genders, incomes, races, religions, and sexual orientations. We acknowledge that we each intersect with systems of power and privilege in unique ways based on our different identities and experiences. We know and name that these intersections play out in myriad ways in educational membership events and other membership programming—online and in person. We strive to create accessible, anti-oppresive spaces rooted in anti-racist, trans-inclusive, and anti-ableism practices. We recognize the potential for joy and transformative storytelling in having a wide array of voices in our classrooms and virtual communal spaces. 

We encourage you to read the following statements to fully understand the goals, mission, vision, and values of the Playwrights’ Center.

AGREEMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS TO PARTICIPATION

As a participant of any Playwrights’ Center membership and education programs, I acknowledge and agree to the following:

We do not censor, but we do question.

  • We encourage all writers in our programs to ask themselves: 

    1. Why am I writing this story? Whose voice is missing? How am I doing my work authentically and honestly? Have I done my research?
    2. How am I demonstrating responsibility when I write characters with identities and experiences that are not my own in light of larger systems of power and privilege?
    3. How do I stay open to and invite feedback that challenges me, especially from communities I don’t belong to when I’m writing about them? How do I listen deeply and respectfully?
    4. “If you care about who and what you’re writing about, you should care about the opinions of the people from that community.” (Tori Sampson)

We commit to creating accountable spaces.

  • Our programs may focus on texts and ideas that challenge you, make you uncomfortable, make you angry--and inspire you, move you, and validate your experiences. Instructors and program facilitators will make choices with the values of equity and inclusion in mind, but that does not mean certain texts won’t evoke strong responses.
  • Everyone’s needs and triggers are different. We don’t make assumptions about what will affect any individual and in what way, but we honor that power and privilege are at play in how material lands with those who are exposed to it, how we discuss it, and who is teaching it. 
  • We trust you to take care of yourself and your own boundaries when it comes to triggering material. You know what you need. Stepping away from a conversation is always an option. Shutting down whole discussions is not an option. We are invested in everyone’s learning and growth. That said, we will always aim to treat sensitive material and language with care and respect.
  • Writing, revising, sharing and discussing work, and giving and receiving feedback call on us to be vulnerable--and to respect each other’s vulnerability. Hard questions that keep the art and the artist at the center can prompt the most inspired answers.
  • Participants are expected to engage as fully as they are able in participatory programs, and not just show up as a passive observer.
  • Participants are encouraged to share with Membership staff, instructors, and/or facilitators any accessibility needs so they may be accommodated in order to fully participate in our programming.
  • We show up in these spaces assuming the best of our fellow participants and their intentions. We agree that anything written in a class or workshop, or brought to a session is the property of the writer. Participants agree to abide by copyright laws and would never consider stealing another writers’ words.
  • We are invested in creating a space where all backgrounds and personal experiences are welcomed and valued throughout the process. When vulnerable moments and work are shared in a session, it is expected that remains between the students and facilitator(s) in the room.  

We show up for the work and each other. 

  • We acknowledge personal and collective responsibility for creating a healthy, vibrant, risk-taking community. We challenge each other to dig deeper in our writing, in our reading, in our feedback, in our revision. We strive to create a learning laboratory that values experimentation and innovation. We recognize that we’re all going to make mistakes; this is how we learn and grow.
  • We know there is strength in a diversity of perspectives, and we welcome insightful, informed conversation when discussing work by other participants and by professional writers. We meet each text on its own terms and ask deep questions about what it’s doing, how, and why. 
  • We treat plays by writers we don’t know with the same careful eye and attention to craft that we do for writers we do know. We remember the humanity of every writer, even when they’re not in the room with us.

We engage in space (online and in-person) with presence and mutual respect.

  • We know there are challenges in online programming, but we agree to focus our best energy towards each other during our meeting times.
  • We acknowledge that there are issues of power and access embedded in our relationship to online space, and there are sometimes barriers to online access.
  • With this knowledge in mind, we prioritize responsible camera use (if participating online), use of chat, breakout rooms, and online forums so that we can create a community built on presence, respect, and trust.
  • Everyone has their own way of identifying who they are. These marks of identity (whether visible or invisible) affect how each person navigates through the world. These identities include, but are not limited to race, background, gender, sexuality, ability, and religious affiliation. If someone has not expressed or shared how they identify, we do not make assumptions.