Leamington & Warwick Musical Society (LWMS) is an amateur musical theatre society open to anyone. We aim to have an atmosphere of equality, friendship, respect and care for each other. We want every member to feel able to give their best, to encourage the widest range and depth of talent, and to reach a wide and diverse audience across our local community.
We recognise that in our wider society, power is not held equally, and that groups and individuals have been and continue to be discriminated against on many grounds. We want no-one to feel they receive less favourable treatment because of their race, sex, nationality or ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, class, pregnancy or maternity, religion, marital status, or where they live. Every member should be made to feel equally welcome and included in all Society activities.
We are committed to ensuring any member is able to attend our activities. We will always reassess our access requirements to meet the needs of new members.
Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or otherwise offensive and inflammatory remarks and behaviour are not acceptable. These constitute harassment, and have no place in the Society.
We ask all our members and stakeholders to commit to supporting this equality, diversity and inclusion policy.
Programming and casting
We acknowledge that musical theatre in the UK, and in particular amateur theatre, is often predominantly white. We recognise that we must both encourage repeat attendance and loyalty in our existing audience, as well as reach new parts of our community. We will therefore strive to select productions which will appeal to the widest range of people, and be as diverse and inclusive as possible.
In casting, we operate open auditions. We give notice publicly and invite people to register in advance. We check all notices to ensure that they are compliant with this policy and worded to encourage applications from all individuals, and not to discourage any individuals with protected characteristics from applying. We ask that any special requirements be notified so that we can make arrangements to make the audition environment as safe and supportive as possible.
We expect our production teams to cast inclusively. This means that they should not prejudge the personal characteristics of an actor beyond what is integral for delivering the composer and/or author’s storytelling for a role. If there is a central requirement for a specific personal characteristic, we will make this clear in our audition notices.
We want transparency and fairness in casting. We expect our audition panel members to disclose any conflicts of interests, such as personal relationships with actors who are auditioning. Any such panel members will not participate in the decision-making process around that actor, to avoid any bias in casting.
Dealing with discrimination and harassment
If any member feels they have been discriminated against by the Society or harassed at a Society event they should raise this with the committee.
The committee will investigate the complaint, listening to all members involved. (If the complaint is against a committee member, that member will not be part of conducting the investigation).
If the complaint is against a particular individual, this person will have the opportunity to express their point of view, accompanied by a friend. The person making the complaint will also have this opportunity.
If the complaint is against the Society as a whole, the Committee must work to ensure that such discrimination is not repeated in the future, and must inform the members of how they propose to do this.
Any decision to exclude a person from the Society due to discriminatory or harassing behaviour will be made with reference to the Society’s constitution. The Society will support people who feel they have been harassed or discriminated against, and will not victimise or treat them less well because they have raised a complaint.
This policy was reviewed by the LWMS committee on 7 November 2022, and will be further reviewed at least every 2 years.