Representation in the performing arts is critical. However, far too many aspiring comedians, actors, directors, and producers are discouraged from this pursuit because they do not see their faces, bodies, and experiences reflected on the stage or screen. Philly Improv Theater recognizes this trend, and is committed to increasing representation and opportunity in comedy among and for historically marginalized identities. These identities include:
- People of Color
- People over 40 years of age
- Members of the LGBTQIA+ community, including people who are gender non-conforming, and people who identify outside the gender binary
- People with physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities
- People who are active duty military service members or military veterans.
To this end, PHIT offers Diversity Scholarships, which allow recipients to take free classes at our Training Center. Since 2016, PHIT has awarded $50,000 in scholarships each year, allowing hundreds of students to learn at the PHIT Training Center.
In addition to scholarships, PHIT’s Diversity Program also offers practice groups specifically for students from historically marginalized identities, opportunities to meet and discuss diversity at the theater, and a chance for greater involvement in our diversity work by joining the informal diversity committee.
PHIT recognizes that it, like many similar theaters around the country and the world, was created in a time and place that favored white supremacy. As an institution we have benefited from, participated in, and perpetuated systems that favor dominant groups in American society. We do not claim special expertise or secret knowledge of how to solve these problems, but are committed to honest, good faith efforts to correct inequities which we find through our own investigation or which are brought to our attention by members of the community. As individuals and as an organization we are not perfect and do not claim to be, but we are committed to acknowledging and correcting mistakes – which we will make. If you would like to report an experience you have had at the theater that involves and/or impacts our efforts towards inclusion, equity, and diversity – good, bad, or somewhere in between – you can do so by speaking to a member of staff who you feel comfortable sharing a concern with, contacting to our outside human resources consultant, or letting us know using our anonymous community feedback form (with the option to identify yourself if you would like staff to follow up).
For more information on our efforts toward inclusion, equity, and diversity, read on, follow the links below, and/or contact PHIT’s staff at email@example.com.