New Rep’s Anti-Racism and IDEAA Action Plan

New Repertory Theatre will create internal organizational systems, processes, structures and cultures that encourage any person to engage with us. In creating an equitable culture, we actively seek diversity, inclusivity and accessibility because we want the stories of all people to be reflected in the stories we tell in our productions.

Our Dream

The diversity of opinion, depth of experience, and variety of histories is a way to keep us moving forward in human interaction and problem solving.  A narrow world view is undesirable and frankly, not theatrical. We dream of a day where the theater is filled with every culture, race, and ethnicity and those conversations are shared.

A Word from MICHAEL J. BOBBITT, Artistic Director

“Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-racism, Access, etc. is an ACT OF LOVE – showing love to people who have never been loved by this country.  This work is to end a race war, not start one.  New Rep aspires to be a multicultural theatre because we know that our differences are our greatest strengths.  What we all bring to the conversations make the experiences richer and more visceral.  These are not just principles or beliefs; they are the fuel that drives everything we do.  Bring all of who you are to the table and come and ‘play’ with us.” 

Michael J. Bobbitt

A Word from Jo Trompet, Board Chair

“The Board of the New Repertory Theatre is committed to providing the strategic leadership that supports a theater community that embraces equity, diversity, inclusion and racial justice work as core practices. This leadership work includes understanding how our internal organizational systems and practices can be “The Board of the New Repertory Theatre is committed to providing the strategic leadership that supports a theater community that embraces equity, diversity, inclusion and racial justice work as core practices. This leadership work includes understanding how our internal organizational systems and practices can be rebuilt and optimized to welcome all. We know theater plays an important role in continuing to build a rich, diverse, healthy and engaged community here in Boston.  As Board members we aim to play our part in strengthening the capacity of theater to make a difference in the work of building a more just and equitable world.”

Jo Trompet

New Rep on Black Lives Matter

We stand in solidarity and in action with black lives because every single Black life matters! The murders of countless black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement is an act of systemic persecution. This is not just a social trend. Every day, a new hashtag. Every hour, a new injustice. Every second, more pain for Black lives. We remember every Black life lost to police brutality, racial injustice, and white supremacy. Together, we stand for justice and #SayTheirNames. We must dismantle the systems of racial oppression, build an anti-racist culture and work towards justice for these crimes of white supremacy in this country. And Boston is no different.

What roles do art and community play as we process, respond, and begin to move forward?

New Repertory Theatre is committed to dismantling white supremacist culture and building an anti-racist institution – on our stages and in our community.

Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where every BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) person feels seen, heard, and supported. We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities. We work powerfully for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people. We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location. We are committed to using our theatrical platform to be part of the systemic change that is needed to reshape our world. We will not be silent. You should not be either.

For those who are grieving, are afraid, are exhausted, are fed up – We see you, we hear you, you are not alone, we are with you. For those who are organizing, speaking out, and supporting those doing this work – thank you. We are with you. We each must examine our own biases and privileges. Justice will not be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are affected. #blacklivesmatter

Executive Summary

Through a series of conversations, learning and expert consultation, New Rep has developed its Anti-Racism & Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access plan.  Overall, New Rep’s Board and Staff will be intentional and action-oriented in working to create an Anti-Racist, inclusive, diverse, accessible and racially equitable culture in which every constituent will feel a sense of comfortable belonging. We will identify critical success factors/elements, and monitor our progress quarterly, and we know that before we can create a sense of comfortable belonging, we will need to commit to standing firm in the discomfort of doing Anti-Racist work.  This Plan primarily focuses on Anti-Racism, as we believe that it is the most difficult and deeply rooted form of discrimination that exists in our society.  However, we WILL address all forms of discrimination and exclusivity.

We are committed to sharing our goals and progress through: external engagement, feedback, and responsiveness with our artistic and geographic communities.

The “unaffected” are also affected.  We want our non-BIPOC community members to see  how toxic unconscious or conscious acceptance of systemic racism is to them, to our larger culture, to Boston, and the nation.

This PLAN is a working document and new Action Steps will be added often.

This PLAN is also the beginning of our response to the Anti-Racism organization #WeSeeYouWAT demands for change.

This plan uses A Framework for Action in Response to Moments of Outrage & Crisis created by OF/BY/FOR/ALL and S.M.A.R.T Outcome Goals developed by Peter F. Drucker


IMMEDIATE – External

  • By September of 2020, New Rep’s Board will communicate its Anti-Racism IDEAA Action Plan with all constituents and stakeholders and invite community feedback and response.
  • By October of 2020, New Rep’s Anti-Harassment Policy will incorporate its Racial and Cultural Anti-Harassment Policies.  New Rep will share it with all of our constituents as an affirmation of our commitment to safe work/community spaces, and 0% tolerance policies on discrimination, harassment and oppression. 

LONGTERM – External

  • Annually, New Rep Board members, in partnership with Staff, will establish relationships with BIPOC community leaders who align with our strategic goals, and engage in dialogue to identify mutual interests, and seek to deepen these relationships through theatrical programing and operations. 

IMMEDIATE – Internal

  • By October of 2020, New Rep will create an IDEAA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Accountability.) Committee.
    • The Chair of the IDEAA Committee will be a member of the Board and, as a committee chair, will serve on the Executive Committee.
    • The IDEAA Committee will be made up of Board members, staff, artists and other New Rep stakeholders. 
  • By January 2021, All Committee Charters will include IDEAA actions, practices, and policies and the bylaws will support the accomplishment of IDEAA goals.
    • The IDEAA Committee will collaborate with other existing committees to:
      • Review committee charters and recommend any changes necessary to assure that each charter has a clear mandate relating to IDEAA.
      • Further develop annual IDEAA goals as part of the annual planning process.
      • Review Board and committee practices, policies and bylaws and recommend any changes necessary to assure that IDEAA goal(s) can be accomplished.
      • Serve as a resource to board, employees, artists and other stakeholders wanting to bring IDEAA issues to New Rep’s Board attention. 
      • Serve as a resource to board, employees, artists and other stakeholders wanting to bring IDEAA issues to New Rep’s Board attention. 


  • By December of 2021, New Rep’s Board will eliminate all elements from its governance, finance, policy and culture that hold racism in place.
  • By June of 2021, the Board will review every governance, finance and operational policy through Anti-Racism and IDEAA lenses.
  • By no later than July of 2023, New Rep’s Board will have equal BIPOC representation.
  • To diminish the potential for harm and to continue to grow into an anti-racist culture, New Rep’s Board and staff will expand its Anti-Racism Learning to quarterly sessions.
    • By September of 2020, New Board and staff members’ onboarding process will include a 10 – 15 hour, self-paced, Anti-Racism IDEAA introduction.
    • A mandatory structured Anti-Racism and IDEAA learning program will be identified for Board and staff members to ensure a common language and understanding.
      • Training will include (but is not limited to) – implicit bias training, anti-racism in theater training, bystander intervention training, conflict de-escalation training, and harassment prevention training.
      • By October of 2020, the Board’s job description will be updated to include mandatory Anti-Racism and IDEAA learning.
      • Learnings will be discussed during each Board meeting and used to continuously improve the organization’s policies, practices and programs. 
  • By July of 2022, New Rep will have zero reports of racist incidents.


IMMEDIATE – External


  • Annually, New Rep will create an employee matching program and match the donations of its staff and interns to #BLM, Anti-Racism and Social Justice causes in accordance with 501(c)(3) regulations.
  • By June of 2021, 100% of New Rep vendors will have anti-racism and anti-oppression policies and practices in place. 
  • Annually, New Rep will actively seek out new BIPOC-lead vendors.


  • Monthly, New Rep will create affinity spaces, events, and conversations for our BIPOC artists to assist in their healing.
    • By July 2021, New Rep’s affinity spaces, events and conversations aimed at assisting BIPOC artists in healing will receive a positive rating in a survey of BIPOC artists. 

LONGTERM – External


  • By September 2022, New Rep will be rated a ‘safe and brave space’ in terms of day-to-day operations by the staff.
  • By October of 2020, New Rep will develop an Anti-Racism IDEAA onboarding and orientation process for all artists, staff, volunteers, board members and contractors. All personnel will sign an Anti-Racism Ally Pledge as an acknowledgement of the completion of the onboarding.
  • By January of 2021, New Rep will develop systems for safe reporting for all staff, volunteers, artists and technicians formalizing feedback systems, accountability check-ins, and misconduct management to create safer creative workspaces.  This will include (but not limited to) – outsourcing HR, building Anti-Racism IDEAA Policy, creating an anonymous feedback form on our website.


  • By July of 2021, at least 50% of New Rep’s plays will center BIPOC stories, especially stories of joy.
  • By July of 2022, New Rep will see a 20% increase in BIPOC audiences.

IMMEDIATE – Internal


  • By Sept. 2021, each New Rep staff member will have contributed to the achievement of an Anti-Racist IDEAA outcome as reflected in their annual evaluation.


  • Annually, New Rep will continue to hire at least 50% POC Artists.

LONGTERM – Internal


  • By July of 2024, New Rep will have achieved equal BIPOC representation in all other aspects of the organization (committees, staff, ushers, audience, etc.)
  • By July of 2022, New Rep will have achieved a racially equitable pay scale.
  • To assure accountability, each month New Rep will share and promote our Anti-Racism IDEAA learnings and plans on our public platforms including but not limited to our website and social media, monthly.

The following three actions reflect New Rep’s intention but are subject to separate board approval after detailed plans are developed:

To dismantle inequities created by privilege:

  • By Fall of 2020, New Rep will have implemented an equitable new donor benefits program with all donors receiving the same benefits.
  • By Fall of 2021, New Rep will have implemented an “Equitable Seating Admission” policy with reserved seating available for those with accessibility needs.
  • By Summer of 2022, New Rep will have designed and implemented an “Equitable Membership Patron Loyalty Program”.


  • By July of 2021, every New Rep production will partner with racial equity, social justice, or human service organizations, and encourage our patrons to learn about and support these organizations.
  • To reduce extreme and unfair labor practices by September 2020, New Rep will abolish the previous industry standard of rehearsing 10 hours out of 12 hour tech rehearsals day during productions’ tech weeks.  Additionally, for all rehearsal weeks, we will change from a 6 day rehearsal week to a 5 day rehearsal work week for its artists.
  • New Rep will continue and build upon its existing practice of hiring Cultural Coordinators as part of the production teams when necessary.

Special Thanks to Joan Lancourt, Marcy Crary (Advisory Council), Benny Sato Ambush and Chip Phinney (Advisory Council), Abby Lass (Development Intern), Shannon Farrell (Development Volunteer), Misha Macy (Marketing Intern)