Spearheaded by Black artists at the Stratford Festival, the #inthedressingroom conversation began in 2020 on Twitter as a platform for Black artists to have their voices heard regarding the racism and injustice they have historically faced and continue to face in the Canadian theatre industry. In early June of 2020, the Stratford Festival decided to delay their scheduled programming to give Black staff members and artists access to their social media platforms as a response to ongoing anti-Black racism. The hashtag quickly became a place for Black artists and theatre practitioners across Canada to share their stories of racism and discrimination they have endured from fellow artists, administration, theatre staff, and patrons. For more, see #inthedressingroom, Nestruck, Fricker and Maga.

Sources and Further Reading:

Kelly Nestruck, J. “Actors from Stratford Festival and Beyond Speak Out about Backstage Racism.” The Globe and Mail, 9 Jun. 2020, www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/article-actors-from-stratford-festival-and-beyond-speak-out-about-backstage/.

Fricker, Karen and Carly Maga. “The Stratford Festival Admitted Its Own Systemic Racism and Gave Black Artists a Chance to Speak Out.” The Toronto Star, 10 June 2020, www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2020/06/10/black-like-me-a-theatre-company-wrestles-with-its-white-guilt-and-gives-artists-of-colour-a-chance-to-speak-out.html.

@stratfest. “There’s an old saying in the theatre, ‘what happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room’ it’s hard to be backstage and Black. #inthedressingroom.” Twitter, 4 Jan. 2020, 7:59 p.m., twitter.com/stratfest/status/1268693817529708544.