2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award®
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Diversity & Inclusion at Dallas Theater Center

Dallas Theater Center strongly believes that an effective workforce includes employees from different and diverse backgrounds and experiences that together form a more creative, innovative, and productive environment. As a leading national theater, DTC recognizes that building an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment is the key ingredient to its relevance and sustainability in the community it serves. This is consistent with DTC’s Mission, Vision and Values which reads as follows:

DIVERSITY is acknowledging and respecting human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups we are a part of or associated with, yet are present in other individuals and groups. These qualities include but are not limited to: ethnicity, race, color, country of origin, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, beliefs, political affiliations, socioeconomic status, experiences and any form of disability.  

An INCLUSIVE work environment is one where all employees are engaged and supported by the leadership of the institution, beginning at the highest level.  Dallas Theater Center strives to create a culture of inclusion where employees of diverse human qualities can thrive and succeed and are able to participate in, and contribute to, the progress and success of the institution, while growing both professionally and personally.


Over the past several years, the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) Board has made an intensive effort to make our board reflect the richness of the diverse community that our theater serves.  We see our theater as a safe haven where difficult issues and entrenched thinking can be examined in thought-provoking and meaningful ways. Our hope is through open discussion we can promote compassion and empathy for all members of our community. We believe theater can inspire friendships and positive action that reverberate far past the stage.

In October 2013, the DTC Board Diversity Task Force, led by Jeff Bragalone, founder of Bragalone Conroy LP drafted the Board Diversity Action Plan. This plan has inspired continuing efforts to recruit and engage new Trustees of diverse backgrounds including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation and local geography.  We know that board members are critical ambassadors to drawing new audiences to our shows. A diverse board ensures the entire Dallas community takes part in the conversations stimulated by the outstanding work of our artists. Furthermore, we strongly believe that a diverse board will help us form amore creative, innovative, and productive boardroom, which is essential as we continue to serve our community.

Are we there yet? No. I can assure you, however, that as we recruit new board members this issue is front and center in our efforts. Conversations held in silos of similarity yield bland results that do not represent our city. A new era of growth and optimism surrounds Dallas, and Dallas Theater Center is an integral part of that change. Art facilitates communication. We need a broad range of voices to make the joyful sound that is truly Big D.  

Julie Hersh
Chair, DTC Board of Trustees





In 2013, Dallas Theater Center adopted a Diversity Action Plan with the purpose of building an infrastructure and culture that would ensure diversity as a permanent reality in DTC’s artistic work, staff, board and audience.




The Artistic, Education and Community Engagement staff will plan for, execute, and evaluate the Artistic Programming Diversity Action Plan, with primary oversight occurring during season planning, casting and hiring processes. The measureable goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Produce at least one production per season written by a Latino playwright as part of DTC’s mainstage season.
  • Ensure that DTC’s Brierley Resident Acting Company is comprised of at least 50% diversity by hiring more people of color.
  • Ensure non-traditional (color blind) casting in all productions.
  • Guarantee that at least 25% of all teachers/teaching artists in SummerStage and Project Discovery are people of color.
  • Hire at least two people of color to direct and/or choreograph productions as part of the mainstage season.
  • Collaborate with at least one culturally specific theater company or arts organization to create productions for DTC’s mainstage.



A Staff Diversity Committee will oversee and evaluate the Staff Diversity Action Plan, under the leadership of the Committee Chairperson and with the active support and participation of the Theater’s Executive Leadership. The Committee is comprised of at least one person from each department of diverse backgrounds. The Committee will oversee the goals of the theater that include but are not limited to:

  • Continually benchmark the production and administrative staff.
  • Revise and implement a mandatory, uniform hiring procedure that is inclusive and equitable.
  • Create targeted hiring outreach efforts and recruiting systems to ensure that people of diverse backgrounds are aware of and apply to open positions.
  • Review and revise the Staff Handbook and workplace practices to be more welcoming and inclusive.
  • Include Diversity and Inclusion training, dialogue or reports at all Full Company meetings.
  • Incorporate diversity goals into the annual performance reviews for managers and department leaders.
  • In addition to this, the Committee will propose new policies, staff training, and revisions to the plan as necessary.  



A Board Diversity Task Force will oversee and evaluate implementation of the Board Diversity Action Plan. The Task Force Chairperson, with the active participation of the Board Chair, the Trustee Development Committee Chair, and the chair(s) of the Staff Diversity Committee, shall guide the efforts to increase the diversity of the Board by overseeing the following goals:

  • Establish guidelines for identifying and recruiting qualified, interested and engaged people of color.
  • Commit to the goal that at least 50% of the new Trustees for each board class for 2014 and 2015 years shall be of diverse backgrounds.
  • Mentor all new Trustees to ensure that they are made to feel welcome and become fully involved in Board activities.
  • Plan and promote community outreach efforts to inform ethnically focused organizations within the community about the diversity work of the theater, and engage them in it.
  • In addition to this, the Task Force will propose new policies and revisions to the plan as deemed necessary.




DTC Programs

  • Pay-What-You-Canallows patrons to purchase ANY seat in the house for as little as $1 per ticket and enjoy world-class live theater at Dallas Theater Center.
  • Come Early: a free 30-minute informative talk designed to enhance your play-going experience.
  • Stay Late: a free, brief, post-show conversation with a member of the cast and other patrons.
  • Project Discovery: provides in-depth theater experiences for thousands of teens (many of whom are considered "at-risk") from 35 North Texas high schools.
  • Neighborhood Initiatives: Beckley-Saner Recreation Center, South Oak Cliff High School



  • Texas Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Chamber of Commerce
  • Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce


Media Partners and Vendors

  • Best Press - Certified Woman Owned commerical printer
  • Planet Signs - GLBT, woman-owned commerical manufacturer
  • Black Business Directory - African American online publication
  • North Dallas Gazette - African American print/online publication
  • Dallas Gospel Connection - African American online publication 
  • Dallas Voice - GLBT print/online publication
  • The J (Jewish Community Center)- promotional partner
  • KRNB/KKDA - Urban radio stations
  • Dallas Weekly - African American print/online publication
  • KSOC/KBFB - Urban radio stations
  • Dallas Tavern Guild - GLBT promotional partner
  • The Resource Center- GLBT promotional partner
  • Univision - Latino TV network



Defining accountability to complete the tasks associated with the action plan.


2014-2015 Season



The Rocky Horror Show  
Driving Miss Daisy  
A Christmas Carol 
The Book Club Play 
Stagger Lee  
Sense and Sensibility 




2013-2014 Season





2013: 12 people of color out of 67 full time employees, or 17% racial diversity 

2014: 15 people of color out of 69 full time employees, or 21% racial diversity 

Diversity has increased by 4% in one year. DTC increased its staff size by 2 people, but have increased the representation of people of color by 3. 

Almost every department has at least one employee of color. We are diligently looking for ways to make this a reality for all DTC departments. 



2013: 5 people of color out of 79 board members, or 6% racial diversity 

2014: 11 people of color out of 78 board members, or 14% racial diversity









Please email us at DiversityInclusionEquity@dallastheatercenter.org with any inquiries or comments.


December 2018