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Chicago Theatre STANDARDS


The Chicago Theatre Standards is a tool used nurture communication, safety, respect, and accountability of participants at all levels the acting community. It seeks to create awareness and systems that respect and protect the human in the art – to foster safe places to do dangerous things. 

Its mission is to create: 

  • Spaces free of harassment, whether it be sexual, or based in race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, color, or ability;

  • Nurturing environments that allow us to challenge ourselves, our audiences, and our communities; that support risk of mind and body; and that establish the freedom to create theatre that represents the full range of human experience; 

  •  A common understanding of practices for theatre environments, including written, reproducible standards available at no cost.

  • Peer support through mentorship and collaboration through online communication and community outreach.



    • Agreeing to familiarize all Staff & Actors of Chicago Theatre Standards.​

    • Sharing the Concern Resolution Path

    • Electing a Non-Equity Deputy

    • Introduction of Ouch/Oops

    • Establishing consent, and vocabulary for pausing (hold / Bail)

    • Walk-through tour of space


    • The CRP documents communication pathways for resolving concerns before they get out of hand, to inform participants who to talk to if issues arise, to avoid repeated unsafe practices, and to mentor those who violate boundaries. 

    • Must be printed/ and distributed

    • The CRP and The NonEquity Deputy are designed to provide confidential reporting channels that support and protect everyone, including the person/s that create concern.

    • Avoid: Gossiping outside the reporting channels, or creating an atmosphere of “heroes and villains”. There are gray areas on stage. People can get hurt physically and/or emotionally without there having to being a “bad guy.” In every possible situation, the CRP should be used to mentor participants, and nurture a positive and safe environment.


    • Sensitive Content (SC) like: Sexuality, Suicide, Violence and Abuse, Racial Trauma, and other emotionally triggering content requires careful consideration when prescribing script selections for student and adult actors.

    • All SC content requires disclosure, Content Warnings, discussion and on-going consent. The use of safe words will be employed to protect both actors and coaches and keep the work safe.


    • One way to handle negative comments or actions in real time.

    • A tool where in, if person A makes a remark that causes harm, and person be says "Ouch" person A would respond "Oops". A pause would then be taken. Person B gets to determine if further conversation or resolution can be found in that moment, or can ask to move on.


    • Disclosing the use of Chicago Theatre Standards to all Staff, New Hires and potential candidates​

    • Basic Health & Safety (like a Drug Free Workplace & Sexual Harassment and Anti-Racism Policy)

    • Agreeing to have all staff current, and in-coming, trained on implementing CTS.

    • Agreeing to have transparency, preparedness to address conscerns openly, and to keep a clear record of concerns at Level 2 & 3.

PLEASE NOTE: The Original Chicago Theatre Standards document was developed for producing theatre organizations, and as such, all content pertaining to the dressing room, backstage, performance elements have been removed or adapted to reflect our coaching, taping, and classroom environments. To learn more about the original Chicago Theatre Standards and their founders please check out:

If you have any questions about these policies and practices, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at

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