/ Hope Summer Repertory Theatre

About HSRT

Established at Hope College in 1972, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre is West Michigan’s premiere professional theatre company.

HSRT produces plays and educational programs of the highest professional standards that address the needs of, and enhance the quality of life for, Hope College and the community.

Values Statement

Inclusion
The company is a unique blend of distinguished professionals and young theatre artists from all over the United States, creating a synergy between younger and more mature artists. Those who are more experienced are infused with the enthusiasm of youth while they pass important artistic values on to the next generation.

Excellence
We are distinguished by a wide variety of plays performed by one resident acting company. Our varied repertoire is unified by the goal of exploring and celebrating the joy and complexity of the human spirit.

Company
The company numbers more than 100 annually and features a unique blend of distinguished professionals and young theatre artists from across the United States.

Education
We bring together professional actors, directors, technical staff and administrators with students from around the country in an atmosphere which provides interns and young theatre professionals the opportunity to learn and practice all aspects of theatre.

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

STATEMENT ON RACISM

Hope Summer Repertory Theater denounces racism and the oppressive systems birthed from it. 

We believe that it is imperative as artists to be anti-racist and recognize that to do so we must face the complexity of our tainted past, and embrace the possibility of our welcoming future.

To do this, we acknowledge that we must consistently engage in conversations about race and racism, and how racism shows up in our daily work. We must be willing to listen to the experiences of our non-white leadership, staff, and company members, and allow those experiences to shape how we combat racism in every aspect of what we do. 

While we have made progress, we must continue to engage in actionable steps to ensure that Hope Summer Repertory Theater is a place that fosters a community of belonging, and rejects the evil of racism. 

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Hope Summer Repertory Theater is committed to:

  • Creating a DEIB Committee to receive and respond to community suggestions and concerns and address inclusive access across our theater spaces and programs
  • Dedicating events and programming that allow our company members to celebrate their individual and intersecting identities
  • Facilitating a culture of belonging through company-wide events and social gatherings
  • Maintaining transparent casting and hiring practices 
  • Creating and supporting education programs that engage communities in Holland, MI that may be considered marginalized
  • Partnering with organizations that serve marginalized communities so that we may learn from the work that they are doing
  • Mitigating financial barriers for students that wish to be a part of our educational programming
  • Casting and hiring individuals that reflect the diversity we see within our artistic field and the world around us
  • Engaging in Anti-Racist education for theater leadership

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND BELONGING SPECIAL COMMITTEE

Committee Purpose

The guiding principle of the DEIB Committee is to make sure that Hope Summer Repertory Theater aligns with Hope College’s value of Inclusion in all of its processes, putting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at the heart of its operations.

Committee Members

  • Two Advisory Board Members
    • Sonja Trent-Brown
    • Psacoya Guinn
  • Three–Four Leadership Team Members:
    • Marcus Johnson (Associate Artistic Director)
    • Ayesu Lartey (Artistic Associate)
    • Lenny Banovez (Artistic Director)
    • Alex Thompson (Music Director)
    • Amy Mills (Marketing Director)
  • Two–Three Company Members (full season)
    • Tenayjah Hawkins
    • Kaia Fitzgerald
  • Two–Three Interns/Apprentices
    • Ian Rossin
    • Nick James
    • Lane Breimhorst
    • Marielle Shiring

Committee Tasks

  • Elect a committee chair from the committee membership
  • Gather feedback and ideas from stakeholders across the company
  • Draft a COA DEIB Vision Statement
  • Collaborate with DEIB committees within Hope College
  • Develop specific DEIB goals and accountability measures
  • Report back to the dean and to all stakeholders at regular intervals, with the first report to the dean no later than May 1st

Resources

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND BELONGING PLAN

HSRT’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan comes from numerous conversations between HSRT Leadership and Advisory Board between Summer 2021 and Fall/Spring 2022 and includes the following:

Production

  • Season selection will be guided by the values of diversity and inclusion and will be representative of our community:
    • Create seasons of diverse stories that include Modern Realism, Musicals, Shakespeare/Classical, Ensemble, Theatre for Young Audiences, and Period Pieces.
    • Seek out plays that bring a diversity of content, themes, and authorship.
    • Invite guest artists who add diversity to HSRT’s programming.
    • Increase audience diversity through community outreach.
  • Casting will create opportunities for diversity and inclusion:
    • Practice non-traditional and identity-conscious casting, while avoiding tokenism
    • Avoid harmful stereotypes and caricatures

Assessment Instruments:

  • Production and season post-mortems that emphasize the values of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging
  • Ongoing analysis of audience diversity

Education

  • Engage in community partnerships to diversify student workshop participation
  • Offer at least 2 full tuition scholarships to students involved in programming with our education partners to lean toward mitigating financial barriers
  • Offer discounted tickets to shows for students participating in our education programs

Assessment Instruments:

  • Access survey for parents of participating students
  • Annual holistic scoring guide for educational programs

Climate

  • During orientation, company members will be introduced to the HSRT's DEIB Plan - a central statement of values of all HSRT operations.
  • HSRT will recruit a diverse company.
  • HSRT will recruit and retain a diverse leadership team. 
  • Leadership will participate in ongoing training to increase DEIB awareness and skills and encourage programming for company members.
  • All leadership team members and company members will have the ability to register complaints, comments, and feedback, which will be promptly acknowledged, accessed, and acted on appropriately.

Assessment Instruments:

  • Annual climate survey of all leadership team members and company members
  • DEIB-based questions on company members’ end of summer climate survey
  • Annual analysis of recruitment practices and results for company members
  • Annual survey of participation in training opportunities
  • Ongoing analysis of feedback and complaint process

Accountability

HSRT will routinely assess its progress, using the previously mentioned assessment instruments, to ensure its DEIB goals are being met and to improve policy and practice.

  • A DEIB Committee will be appointed, constituted in the following way:
    • Two Advisory Board Members
    • Three Leadership Team Members
    • Two Company Members (full season)
    • Two Interns/Apprentices
  • A diversity officer will be appointed annually from among the committee by the leadership team; the DO will chair the DEIB Committee and lead the DEIB assessment process.
  • Annual Reviews will include results and discussion of HSRT's DEIB goals.