We have signed up to the Anti-Racism Touring Rider, committing to actions that will improve working conditions within the touring sector. We believe that it is a resource that will have a positive impact our practice and support our collective work towards anti-racism within the industry.
The anti-racism rider and toolkit is launched as a step towards more equitable working conditions for touring shows and events. In response to personal testimonies and feedback from over 100 freelancers, Co-ordinated by a group of 15 national touring theatre companies, and spearheaded by Amanda Huxtable, Rowan Rutter (HighTide), Richard Twyman (English Touring Theatre) and Lian Wilkinson (New Earth Theatre), the rider and accompanying checklist offers a series of actions for anti-racist practice, giving a framework to establish the baseline of expectations and support between stakeholders on a touring production.
“After months of consultation and pooling of collective knowledge, we publish the rider today in good faith. We believe it will effect tangible change in the improvement of working conditions within the industry and offer a toolkit for better working practice for all. The rider is designed to be for everybody, and used by everybody, complementing existing anti-racism work within the sector or providing a starting point for those beginning to implement anti-racism actions in their practice. We hope that it will also serve as an act of encouragement and support for all who have worked tirelessly over the years including ourselves. Change is needed. The change is now.”
The rider – the first practical toolkit for change offered from within the industry – is backed by companies in the National Touring Network including Actors Touring Company, Fuel, Graeae, Improbable, Northern Broadsides, Pentabus and Theatre Centre, alongside UK Theatre, Independent Theatre Council and Inc Arts.
Touring companies, venues and freelancers across the country fed into the consultation process for the rider, resulting in a 8-page document detailing actions and suggestions that producers and venue managers commit to when touring a show. It has been compiled with the aim it is applicable to any touring production or company, irrespective of scale or remit, and covers actions to be used as a baseline leading up to touring. It provides a 360-approach encompassing all aspects of the production – from the first engagements with venues, wellbeing and pastoral care, marketing, and throughout all aspects of the run. The rider is one of the actions listed on Unlock, an anti-racism toolkit from Inc Arts for recruitment, leadership and the workplace.
The rider complements/adds to a body of work including A Manifesto for a New Nomal – coordinated by freelance artists Jenni Jackson, Nick Makoha and Lola May and Eclipse Theatre’s 2018 report The R Word – and is the first practical toolkit for change offered from within the industry.
Independent Theatre Council commented “ITC is delighted to support the widespread use of this much-needed Anti-Racist Touring Rider. It will be a vital tool in promoting best practice and protecting practitioners on tour. Many thanks to our visionary member companies and all the contributors who have worked so hard and thoughtfully to develop this great resource.” –Charlotte Jones
UK Theatre added, “we welcome the Touring Rider as a useful contribution to the discussions around making our venues safer, more inclusive and more welcoming. We look forward to consulting with our membership on future developments of the Rider as a practical anti-racist resource for venues, touring companies and producers.” –Sebastian Cater