Skip to Main Content


As we continue to reimagine a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, accessible, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival seeks to ensure that the Progress Report we published in February 2022 remains a living document to keep us accountable. Click here to view the original Progress Report annotated with updates since the first year of its publication in February of 2022, including the actions we took, where we fell short, and learnings that will impact future work and action.

We extend gratitude to everyone who joined us over the past two years to work with us, help us implement these changes, and provide us with valuable feedback. We are grateful for your trust and essential contributions as we continue this work. Thank you for being in community with us.

While we are immensely proud of the strides we have made since the publication of the original report, we acknowledge that there are still major institutional changes that need to be made and know this work must be in alignment with our already-underway strategic planning process—a process established to endeavor thinking about a more sustainable future for WTF.

As always, we welcome feedback, questions, and comments as we learn and grow. Input and feedback can be emailed to Janise Robinson, Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Manager of People & Culture, at The email addresses of our entire year-round staff are also available on our website. Alternatively, you may email feedback to, an address that goes only to WTF’s third-party HR consultant, K&K Reset, and Margaret Gould Stewart, Chair of the WTF Board of Trustees.

Please find the current status of the commitments we made on the original 2022 Progress Report below.


Originally published February 2022, most recent update: March 2024


For seven decades, Williamstown Theatre Festival has annually produced an ambitious season of theater, engaging established and early-career theater-makers and fostering the magic that happens when they have opportunities to create work side-by-side.

How and with whom Williamstown Theatre Festival chooses to engage has an impact that resonates far beyond the Berkshires. Productions developed at WTF often land on the stages of other prominent theater companies and venues throughout the country. WTF’s experiential training opportunities can have life-changing effects on career paths and on the makeup of the professional theater workforce in America.

In service of the responsible stewardship of this impact, Williamstown Theatre Festival is committed to ensuring a welcoming, respectful, and physically safe environment, reducing barriers to participation and access, and achieving greater equity, diversity, and inclusion by bringing a more anti-racist and anti-oppressive approach to every aspect of WTF’s operations.

The staff, Board, artists, community partners, and volunteers of Williamstown Theatre Festival treat one another with respect. We find joy in collaboration, creation, and summertime. We believe in representation and diverse perspectives onstage and off. We aim to engage as broad an audience as possible while serving the vibrant local communities in Western Massachusetts.

The scope of the 2023 season:
The 2023 season saw a pause in full productions as we dedicated our resources towards strategic planning efforts for 2024 and beyond. The summer consisted of three readings on the specially-built Festival Stage, four Fridays@3 new work readings at the Clark, a benefit concert by Laura Benanti, Hasan Minhaj’s newest work-in-progress, and the return of the renowned Cabaret. The Festival was also host to four artists-in-residence and three workshops. The season was accomplished by a summer staff of fewer than 30 people.

Key learnings from the 2023 season and where our short-term attention will be focused:

  • Hiring and Recruitment: We need to focus on expanding our recruitment and strengthening our hiring processes. This includes developing intentional relationships, supporting hiring managers, making hiring processes consistent across the organization, and transparently setting expectations about a summer at Williamstown Theatre Festival and its unique work/learn environment.
  • On-Boarding and Training: There is work to be done to better prepare and welcome artists, staff, and trainees when they join our team and arrive on campus. We aim to provide more robust training across all levels, including extending onboarding time and earlier arrivals as necessary. We are troubleshooting how to ensure that all company members receive the same access to training and onboarding despite the rolling nature of arrivals and shorter stays for certain company members.
  • Board Development: The Board continued its efforts to be a more anti-racist and equitable governance body, and is looking forward to digging in deeper during 2024. It has already engaged in anti-racism workshops, has established a Nominating Committee dedicated to increasing the diversity of the Board through an unbiased lens, and is redeveloping its bylaws and standards of practice to ensure that all of its functions are aligned with broader institutional values.
  • Diversifying our Audience & Programming: We learned that bringing new and diverse audiences to the Berkshires is possible, as seen particularly with the audiences for Hasan Minhaj’s performances last summer. Besides engaging in ticketing initiatives, targeted marketing and exploring transportation options, we acknowledge the importance of dynamic programming to further these efforts.


The actions outlined below represent a shift in the model, practices, and culture of Williamstown Theatre Festival. They reshape many aspects of the Festival’s workplace culture, training programs, and approach to artistic development, programming, and production; they impact everyone who participates in the Festival, including year-round and seasonal staff, artists, trainees, trustees, and audiences. What we have accomplished since the original report is annotated in blue, below. You can find the summarized version here.

1. Foster a respectful, responsible, and equitable workplace

  • Beginning in 2022, the number and scale of Williamstown Theatre Festival’s programmatic activities will match its capacity to support the staff and trainees who make the Festival possible. WTF will no longer be mounting a seven-show season. This will lessen the intensity and sense of urgency once endemic to WTF’s workplace.
    • The Festival has adopted a no 10-out-of-12s policy for technical rehearsals and mandatory days off have been implemented Festival wide.
  • “Changeovers” have been lengthened to further support safety and work-life balance for the employees of the Festival.
    • Changeovers between productions were multi-day and scheduled within a more traditional theater workday (8am – 6pm). There were no overnight calls.
  • Employees will receive at least one day off per week. WTF will support all seasonal employees and trainees with hour-caps. WTF will appoint a full-time staff member, whose primary duties will include ensuring compliance with these policies.
    • All staff members have at least one day off per week, as well as weekly hour caps.
    • The Director of Organizational Culture (full-time, year-round) and People & Culture Coordinator (seasonal) ensured compliance of these policies in 2023. Due to the departure of the former, a Manager of People & Culture has taken over these duties.
  • WTF will provide all employees and trainees with an on-campus housing option as a benefit free of charge.
    • As of 2021, all company members, including seasonal staff and trainees, are provided housing on the Williams College campus free of charge. We acknowledge that, while there are some shops, restaurants, and amenities within walking distance of campus, access to grocery stores and other stores and activities that improve quality of life are not within walking distance. As we shift our operational model, we are thinking about the work-life experience of all company members and how we can address issues of access with travel and food options.
  • WTF will rethink designer compensation utilizing the USA Standard Design Agreement Not-For-Profit Theatre Rate Sheet as a guide.
    • We have significantly increased our design fees, utilizing the USA Standard Design Agreement Not-for-Profit Theatre Rate Sheet as a guide. We budget so that all Design Associates and Assistants can utilize a USA829 Project Only Agreement, should they choose to.
  • WTF will distribute anonymous digital surveys to encourage frank and open feedback from all Festival participants. These surveys will be conducted by third-party HR consultants and will be extended to artists and rehearsal room teams in addition to the rest of the summer company. HR consultants will provide feedback from surveys and exit interviews to year-round staff, who will then work to resolve issues or shift practices and procedures. WTF commits to a practice of internalizing feedback, shifting operations as necessary, and reflecting it back out to the community.
    • We continue to implement anonymous feedback forms to all company members at the end of the season, encouraging everyone to complete during paid work hours and for managers to make space for employees to complete this feedback during the workday. Other methods of providing verbal feedback are offered by our onsite HR Coordinator. All feedback is compiled and presented in a report completed by the HR Coordinator and K+K Reset. That report is shared with all year-round staff, leadership, and the Board’s Executive Committee.
  • WTF continues to commit to offering and providing resources for identity-based affinity groups during the summer season, as has been its practice since 2019.
    • We continue to make space for identity-based affinity groups and are working to better resource and support these spaces.

2. Evolve staff, artist, and leadership recruitment, hiring, and onboarding practices

  • WTF has created and filled a year-round senior staff position with a primary responsibility of serving as a steward and caretaker of the people and culture at the Festival. The individual in this position will regularly review and revise orientation and on-boarding procedures and workplace policies, including WTF’s Handbooks, Anti-Harassment Policy, and Code of Conduct, in order to build upon feedback and ensure the policies speak to and support an anti-racist and anti-oppressive environment. This individual will also develop and implement accountability mechanisms for this ongoing work, and future Progress Reports. This work will be in collaboration with WTF’s Anti-Racism Working Group, WTF staff and Board of Trustees, seasonal employees, artists, and other stakeholders, who will be compensated for their time and input.
    • The Producer & Director of Organizational Culture, began full-time in March 2022. Since joining, she has worked with various staff to review and make adjustments to hiring, orientation, and on-boarding procedures, and workplace policies. Due to her departure, a Manager of People & Culture has taken over these duties.
    • WTF’s Anti-Racism Working Group has been meeting to administer an organizational assessment, a resource provided by artEquity, to identify WTF’s current gaps between anti-racist values and anti-racist policies and operations in order to identify short-term actions for the coming year connected to commitments outlined in this Progress Report and that will be reported on in subsequent Progress Reports.
  • WTF has invested in human resources by engaging a third-party HR firm. It is a priority to continue to make HR a more robust component of all Festival activities and provide BIPOC representation on the HR team.
    • We are very proud to continue our partnership with K+K Reset in this capacity.
  • WTF will recruit for and hire people who have a demonstrated commitment to anti-racist, anti-discriminatory, and equal opportunity values and practices.
    • As of 2022, all job postings include this as a primary responsibility of positions at Williamstown. This is asked about in every interview and included in our annual ‘best practices in hiring’ session with all year-round staff members and any seasonal staff members who will be responsible for hiring members of their team, led by K+K Reset.
  • WTF will devote more resources and make best efforts to communicate the Festival’s HR infrastructure, reporting procedures, and policies against retaliation to all staff, trainees, and artists.
    • Every employee and artist receives the Festival’s handbook which outlines all procedures and policies we have in place. The top-of-season company meeting also includes a presentation from K+K Reset in regards to these policies and introduces the on-site People & Culture contact to the company.
  • WTF will continue to strengthen its onboarding and orientation processes and provide all policies and reporting procedures in writing and verbally, as well as posted in the workplace.
  • WTF will provide mandatory management training for management positions, and technical safety training will be a central component of onboarding for anyone in a technical direction supervisor position and/or anyone supervising or participating in builds or installations.
    • WTF began to develop management training in conjunction with K+K Reset and will continue to expand and formalize this training for subsequent seasons to build confidence in and skills for managers in hiring, leading, and supporting their teams.
    • WTF will continue to develop a safety training program that ensures safe working practices in accordance with all OSHA regulations and industry practices.
  • WTF will engage a pay equity consultant in 2022 to contextualize and calibrate compensation and benefits.
    • At the conclusion of the study conducted in partnership with NonProfit HR, the Festival adopted a clear compensation philosophy that is now a part of the year-round employee handbook. It commits to annual COLA increases and regular salary market data analyses of current positions in addition to laying out other policies.
    • We hope to undertake a full review of all seasonal positions and their compensation levels as we continue to find and build the best employment structure to support our seasonal operations.
  • With the guidance of artEquity, WTF is exploring a co-leadership model that engages and empowers a BIPOC leader at the Festival.
    • WTF has engaged Tom O’Connor Consulting Group and launched a search for a full-time, year round Managing Director, Operations & Advancement. Diversity remains a top priority in filling this position.
  • WTF will assemble diverse creative teams, reflective of various perspectives and backgrounds, for all productions.
    • This remains a top priority in our programming and hiring processes. We hope to implement a voluntary self-reporting survey to be able to measure the increase in diversity on our teams starting with the 2024 season.
  • WTF will ensure that creative teams discuss racial and/or sexual sensitivities raised by a play or musical prior to the casting process, and will emphasize the core values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout the production.
    • As of 2023, K&K Reset administered Respect & Dignity in the Workplace training as a mandatory part of each creative team’s orientation. We will continue to find ways to find trainings that fit the unique needs of each production.

3. Grow unconscious bias and anti-racist training for existing, new, and seasonal staff (including managers)

  • In 2020 and 2021, WTF year-round staff and trustees attended Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) trainings with artEquity. WTF commits to requiring EDIA training for year-round staff annually.
    • As of 2023, Respect & Dignity in the Workplace training will be a mandatory part of each manager, staff member, and creative team member’s orientation to the Festival.
  • In the summer of 2021, WTF seasonal staff were invited to participate in an EDIA workshop alongside year-round staff. WTF commits to repeating this annually and making it mandatory.
    • See above bullet for 2023
  • WTF commits to continuing to provide cultural competency training to front of house staff (including volunteer ushers), as has been its practice since 2017, and COMMUNITY WORKS participants annually. WTF commits to continuing to provide mandatory anti-harassment training to year-round and seasonal staff, as has been its practice since 2017.
    • K+K Reset administered our Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination training to the Festival company this year and implemented an Anti-Bias Training to Front of House staff, including volunteer ushers.
  • Beginning in 2022, unconscious bias training will be required for all Festival employees and rehearsal room teams (all cast, crew, and creatives of every production).
    • We have not been able to meet this commitment and are examining how we can best provide training consistently to all company members.
  • WTF will continue to compensate seasonal employees for time spent in trainings that fall outside of their scheduled working hours.
    • We continue to make this commitment. For clarity, here are the trainings we offer, and who they are required for:
      • Anti-Racism training
        • Full-time, year round staff
        • Trustees
      • Respect & Dignity in the Workplace training
        • Full-time, year round and seasonal staff members
        • Creative team members and artists
      • Best hiring practices training
        • Full-time, year round and seasonal staff members in positions that hire
      • Manager Training
        • All managers
      • Cultural Competency Training
        • Front of house staff, including volunteer ushers
      • Anti-Harassment training
        • Full-time, year round and seasonal staff members

    4. Build a more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist Board of Trustees

    • In 2019, the Board created a Diversity & Inclusion subcommittee within the Governance committee, charged, in part, with efforts toward diversifying the Board’s membership. Recognizing the need to emphasize and formalize the pursuit of initiatives to increase diversity on the Board, in early 2022 the Governance Committee recommended that the Board establish a separate committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in place of the existing subcommittee.
      • In 2022, the WTF Board formed a separate committee for matters regarding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and added Cultural Transformation as a pillar of this new DEICT committee. The purpose of this committee is not only to increase diversity, equity and inclusion on the Board but also to work with and oversee the transformation of WTF into an organization that is more anti-racist and anti-oppressive.
      • As of 2023, the DEICT subcommittee, now called the Anti-Bias Action Committee, meets quarterly, engaging on any board-related or staff-related initiatives to continue transforming the organization into an equitable and bias-free environment.
    • The WTF Board has committed resources to engage several consulting firms to provide expertise, expand access, and identify BIPOC candidates and candidates from other under-represented communities.
      • The WTF Board has welcomed BIPOC and women-identifying trustees and are working with the Nominating Committee to expand our search for more BIPOC trustees.
      • As of 2024, our Board of Trustees is made up of 50% women-identifying people and 13% people of color.
    • The WTF Board is also looking to include additional theater makers as Trustees to ensure an expansion of best practice knowledge and expertise-sharing.
      • The WTF Board continues to identify candidates who are theater professionals in order to have more industry voices on the Board.
    • The WTF Board Nominating Committee will seek assurance that candidates for the Board share a commitment to anti-racist, anti-discriminatory, and anti-oppressive values and practices.
      • The Board has established a formal Nominating Committee, which will ensure that the identification and cultivation of board prospects includes clear outcomes related to anti-racist, anti-disciplinary, and anti-oppressive values and practices.
    • The WTF Board is updating its Standards of Service to ensure consistent, active, and engaged support from current Trustees, to clarify expectations regarding Trustee engagement, and ensure shared commitments among Trustees to WTF’s broader institutional values.
    • In order to assess Board culture and commitment to the Standards of Service, each Trustee must complete an annual self-evaluation, as well as participate in a third-party assessment, to be determined.
      • We have not yet been able to meet this commitment.
    • The WTF Board commits to requiring ongoing EDIA training for current and future trustees.
      • There was an EDIA and anti-bias training in January of 2024, to which every member of the board was invited. About 50% of the Board was able to attend, including all the officers.

    5. Build diverse audiences and serve diverse communities

    • WTF has allocated resources and engaged an outside, independent firm to support the development of Black audiences from the Berkshire region.
      • In 2021 & 2022, the Festival worked with audience development consultant Marcia Pendelton and Walk Tall Girl Productions to engage Black business, civic, and social leaders in the Berkshires and the Albany/Capital Region. It was recommended to the Festival that we think beyond the transactional discount ticket offer and identify ways to engage diverse communities, in their own community, using Festival artists.
      • With no productions in 2023, our audience development progress has been put on hold. We hope to resume this work in the 2024 season as we return to producing productions and begin to execute our new producing model.
    • WTF continues to participate in the EBT Card to Culture and ConnectorCare Card to Culture initiatives created by the Mass Cultural Council in partnership with the Executive Office of Health and Humans Services’ Department of Transitional Assistance and the Massachusetts Health Connector, respectively, which offer significantly reduced priced tickets to eligible households.
      • Since 2022, WTF created and has used the affordable ticketing program AccessTix. The program provides an entry-level price point of $30 to every production.
    • WTF will expand COMMUNITY WORKS efforts to build and grow meaningful partnerships with Berkshire-based organizations that serve constituencies historically underrepresented at WTF, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities and people with disabilities.
      • Since 2022, the COMMUNITY WORKS program has been on hold as the Festival plans its future.

    6. Reimagine and rebuild WTF’s training programs to be fair and equitable

    • The redevelopment of educational programs and opportunities remains a core tenet and focus of the strategic planning process. For the summer of 2024, there will be some formalized educational opportunities, such as talkbacks with industry professionals. Further expansion and inclusion of education is to be developed for future years.
    • In 2021, WTF suspended the Apprentice Program and Internship Program, which previously charged participants for tuition, room, and board. These programs are currently being reimagined as opportunities for learners where cost is no longer a barrier and where work/life balance is a priority. The goal is to offer experiential training, networking, and career-building opportunities for early-career theatermakers in all areas of the field.
      • WTF took a step towards reimagining these programs with the Early Career BIPOC Theatre Makers program in 2021 in partnership with Black Theatre United, and the Summer Intensive Training Program in 2022 in partnership with Williams College.
    • WTF will continue to classify members of its non-Equity program as employees and will continue to provide them fair compensation in the future.
    • In all of WTF’s professional training programs, WTF commits to ensuring representation among cohorts.


    WTF acknowledges that the work of becoming a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, accessible, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive institution is ongoing. Meaningful structural and cultural change happens over years and decades, not weeks and months. This Progress Report is a reflection of priorities in this moment in our evolution. We know that in this evolution, we will make mistakes, and we commit to learning and growing from them. This is a practice: working with discipline and diligence, guided by and accountable to our communities, creating structural and cultural change.

    As we grow, we welcome input from all stakeholders—employees, trainees, artists, technicians, administrators, audience, Trustees, volunteers, the Williamstown community, and the theater community at large. We have been absorbing the valuable feedback to date, and the door is open to hearing how we can better foster a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment for all.

Find Us

By Phone: (413) 458-3200
By Email:
By Snail Mail: PO Box 517
Williamstown, MA 01267