The guidelines advise against casting solely based on an actors identitySimon Lock

Producers should prioritise “marginalised” auditionees in “tie-breaker situations” involving equally castable actors, new guidance from Cambridge drama club (CUADC) has set out.

The guidelines, published last Tuesday (08/22) by diversity officer Mithiran Ravindran, say that members of the society have a “responsibility to acknowledge” their prejudice towards minority groups and “actively contribute” towards making CUADC “inclusive and identity-conscious.”

Written in consultation with Bread Theatre and Film Company (a society promoting ethnic minority drama in Cambridge), and the CUADC committee, the new guidelines are aimed at students pitching or staging shows at the ADC or Corpus Playroom.

Other recommendations include changing the name of the character to reflect the actor’s appearance, and listing the character’s gender in auditions rather than the person going for the role to “accommodate various non-traditional gender identities.”

Where gender isn’t a central part in the narrative, CUADC will encourage production teams to leave the gender identity of the character open.

The guidelines advise against casting actors solely based on their identity since it’s “unfair” to expect minorities to incorporate their identity into the role.


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The new recommendations go on to criticise “pseudo-inclusive” casting processes such as a BME drop in hour, urging the production team to reflect on their impact on marginalised groups “instead of engaging in self-interested, performative allyship.”

Promoting the guidelines, Mithi said that the aim was to make Cambridge Theatre “more inclusive of marginalised identities, increase their meaningful representation onstage, as well as hopefully widening the already-open dialogue about these issues and fostering a culture of greater empathy.”