Outdoor Shakespearean Theatre
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

DEIA Policy

Land Acknowledgement

We want to acknowledge that we gather on the unceded, ancestral lands, past and present, of the Chumash, the Fernandeño Tataviam, and Gabrielino Tongva (also called the Kizh Nation, kizh being the word for home in the Gabrielino/Tongva language). We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. 

For those of us, who are not Indigenous to this land, we must acknowledge the lasting impact of the California genocide on its native peoples. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we are honored to inhabit as well.

Theatricum’s Mission Statement

Will Geer founded Theatricum Botanicum in 1973. Our mission is to engage, educate and entertain audiences of all ages by presenting thought-provoking classics, socially relevant plays, and education programs in a beautiful, natural outdoor sanctuary for the arts.

By passing on a sense of history to young people and adults alike, great works of art inform their present and inspire their future.

A true renaissance theatre, we offer a diversity of programming from Shakespeare to poetry to folk music to the development of future playwrights – all to help understand the world we live in and to embrace our shared humanity.

DEIA Committee Formation and Background

In the summer of 2021, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum identified the need for a dedicated committee during an anti-racism training with Fanshen Cox, and formed Theatricum’s DEIA Committee.

Later that year, Theatricum made a commitment to the Los Angeles Anti-Racist Theatre Standards which were created by The Blklst, a diverse collective of LA theatre artists inspired and influenced by the work of We See You White American Theatre

In 2022, the DEIA Committee used these standards and held departmental meetings to set goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion, addressing each of the LAART Standards. These goals were then published to our website. Additionally, a demographics survey was launched to better understand representation and opportunity areas for staff and cast.

In 2023, the DEIA Committee held check-ins with each department relating to their goals, expanded participants and discussed progress to date and how to continue the work into the future. The committee began developing a clear framework for DEIA progress, leveraging input from the Theatre standards referenced above, goals from prior years, staff input, and the current environment and needs. The following goals and DEIA process are a result of these conversations.

At the beginning of 2024, the DEIA Committee began holding departmental meetings to be completed before the Spring. The progress toward last year’s goals and new objectives for the future will be published on our website, and check-ins will take place throughout the year to support consistent consideration for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in every aspect of our operations as a Company.

Vision for the Future of DEIA at Theatricum
  • Continue existing efforts, energy, momentum around DEIA considerations
  • DEIA is baked in to all decision-making and operations
DEIA Goals

Aligned with Theatricum Botanicum’s mission, the DEIA Framework seeks to enhance the theatre’s mission to help all understand the world we live in and to embrace our shared humanity by: 

  1. Representation: Actively work toward representation that reflects broader society and our industry in our staff, cast, crew, teaching artists, and audiences
  2. Culture: Foster an inclusive, welcoming, and accessible environment for all those who encounter the Theatricum
  3. Impact: Continue history of advocacy of Theatricum with increased focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility

See the end of this document for complete Progress and Future Goals for 2024.


Each department will annually determine actions they can take to drive progress on the goals outlined above. The committee recognizes that this work is a long-term commitment. Annually, the DEIA Committee will be responsible for:

  1. Annual departmental meetings to review progress and set annual goals, followed by mid-season check-in(s)
  2. Help to prioritize and build timelines for goals to ensure they are attainable
  3. Organize DEIA updates to the Board 2x per year and update the website each spring with our goals and progress
  4. Administer a demographic survey and share results/review feedback for future efforts
  5. Serve as consultants where a particular lens of diversity and/or subject matter expertise is needed from HR and/or staff
Guiding Principles
  • We are not 
    • A committee for formal complaints and grievances
    • Human Resources
    • A governing body
    • We are not subject matter experts, and rely on our community to evolve our understanding of what it means to be diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible
  • We are
    • Connectors who facilitate relationships to encourage DEIA
    • Identifying existing resources and ways to get what we need, but don’t have
    • Providers of pathways to equitable conflict resolution
    • Support, helping to facilitate and prioritize DEIA needs
    • Never finished with this work
  • We maintain
    • Diversity means recognizing that our differences (i.e., age, gender identity, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) influence our experiences and perspectives and make us stronger as a whole
    • Equity means identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent full participation and proactively advancing underrepresented groups
    • Inclusion means having behaviors and practices that consistently ensure everyone is welcomed, valued and respected
    • Accessibility means enabling all individuals to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions and enjoy the same services
    • Respect, Accountability, Transparency
    • A continuous cycle of evaluation, growth, and action
Anti-Racism Statement

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum commits to ongoing anti-racist education, reflection, and action. We examine and refine our service to the BIPOC members of our community through a continuous cycle of accountability that involves everyone associated with Theatricum. Our Company acknowledges the harm caused by centering whiteness at the expense of BIPOC artists and patrons. We strive to ensure that the content, methodologies, and teaching artists for our arts education programs reflect and support our BIPOC student audiences. It is incumbent upon us to improve equity on our stages and in our leadership year after year, through a commitment to anti-racism that is integrated at every level of our organization.

2023/2024 Committee Members

Eligible members to join the committee will have more than three years of service with Theatricum, or, hold a staff position.

  • Emily Bridges Stecklein (she/her)
  • Gerald Rivers (he/him)
  • Jenna Wilson (she/her)
  • Michelle Merring (she/her)
  • Willow Geer (she/her)
  • Samara Safarik (she/her)
  • Bianca Akbiyik (she/her)
  • Emoria Weidner (they/them)
  • Jonathan Blandino (he/him)
  • Alex Halicki (she/her)
2024 Committee Action Items
  • Finish outline of guiding principles
  • Restroom updates (multi-year project)
  • Post annual updates on website
  • Refine demographic survey process to include QR code at first company meeting and follow up email from Company Manager to increase participation
  • Continue annual departmental meeting cycle
2023 Progress and 2024 Goals

Below is a summary of progress and key areas of opportunity for 2024. A detailed list of all goals and planned actions by department can be found here.


Cultural Equity and Inclusion Statement, Policy, and Plan

Black Lives Matter Statement


Accessibility at Theatricum

Accessibility Resources
  • The parking lot fee is waived for guests with handicap placards.
  • Large print scripts are available at the box office to read along with the show.
  • ASL interpretation is available at select performances. Contact the box office for more information.
  • Contact boxoffice@theatricum.com for seating and accessibility accommodations. 

As we strive to be more accountable to our community, Theatricum welcomes feedback on these policies from anyone who identifies as part of a group historically marginalized by predominantly white theatre institutions. Contact us at DEIA@theatricum.com