Call and Response: Elisa Marino Alvarado

by Tara Bracco

in I AM THEATRE

“…in the midst of our fervor and our good work, there was much sexism. We had a theatre company that spoke of liberation and equality, but within our ranks it was definitely a double standard for women.”

- Elisa Marino Alvarado, I AM THEATRE

This honest quote acknowledges that there is a difference between intention and action. I think most theatre companies would like to think of themselves as artistic places that value equality, and yet, their staff and creative work may not reflect this. Alvarado’s video shows that even when a theatre’s mission is dedicated to celebrating the work of an ethnic or cultural group, that same theatre may still lack equality in other ways. I don’t believe theatre leaders sit around thinking about how they can systematically perpetuate sexism or racism in their organizations. But I do believe that many theatres spend more time talking about embracing diversity and gender equality than implementing strategies that can actualize their good intentions.

In what ways does your organization work to ensure an environment of “liberation and equality?”

Do some areas of your organization reflect equality while others do not? For instance, have you added women playwrights to your season, while your office staff lacks diversity?

Does your theatre periodically conduct an equality review, where you assess how your organization is doing when it comes to diversity and gender equality? If so, how often?

Let us know, or better yet, don’t just tell, show.


Call and Response extends the conversation surrounding the I AM THEATRE videos (and hopefully inspires you to make your own video). You can watch Elisa’s video and catch up on I AM THEATRE here.