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  • Writer's pictureSkyler Matthias

VALUE 2: The Importance of DBIE in Theatre Companies

As a theatre company, Lightswitch Theatre Company is trying to be the example to companies in Little Rock and beyond. We have the power to create a more inclusive and equitable environment through the principles of diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity (DBIE). By prioritizing DBIE in our productions, we create a more vibrant and dynamic storytelling experience that resonates with a wider range of people.

Here are some ways that DBIE can benefit your company, and some ideas for how to make your company more inclusive:

Improved storytelling

One of the most compelling reasons to prioritize DBIE in the theatre is the opportunity to tell more nuanced and diverse stories. By representing a range of voices and perspectives, you can create more authentic and compelling storylines that have the power to move and inspire your audience. By showcasing a variety of cultures, experiences, and identities, you can break down stereotypes and promote understanding and empathy between different groups.

Enhanced creativity

A diverse and inclusive cast and crew can also bring a wealth of different experiences and ideas to the table, which can lead to more innovative and creative productions. By encouraging DBIE in your company, you can foster a collaborative and open-minded environment that allows for new and unique approaches to storytelling. With a mix of perspectives and experiences, you'll be better equipped to come up with fresh and exciting ideas that keep your audience on the edge of their seats.

Greater audience appeal

Representing DBIE in your productions can also help to expand your audience appeal. By presenting stories and characters that reflect the experiences of a wider range of people, you can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all audience members. Whether you're a small community theatre or a large regional company, building a diverse and dedicated audience base is essential for long-term success. By showcasing DBIE, you'll be better positioned to attract and retain a wide range of audience members.

4. Increased accessibility: Another important aspect of DBIE in the theatre is accessibility. By considering the needs of all audience members, you can create a more welcoming and accessible environment for everyone. This can include offering audio description, captioning, and other accessibility services for those with disabilities, as well as providing accessible seating and restrooms. By making your productions accessible to all, you'll be able to reach a wider and more diverse audience.

Promotes social change

Finally, theatre companies have the unique ability to use their platform to promote social change and create a more equitable society. By representing DBIE in your productions, you can help to break down barriers and promote understanding and acceptance between different groups. Through the power of storytelling, you can inspire and educate your audience, and work towards creating a more inclusive and compassionate society.

DBIE is vital for the theatre industry. From improved storytelling and enhanced creativity to greater audience appeal and increased accessibility, representing diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity can create a more dynamic and enriching experience for both performers and audience members. By working to create a more inclusive and equitable environment, theatre companies have the power to make a positive impact on their communities and promote social change through the power of storytelling.

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