Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at Shotgun Players

The EDI committee is comprised of Shotgun Players staff, company, and board members: Jayme Catalano, Patrick Dooley, Susannah Martin, Cathleen Riddley, Katja Rivera, Leigh Rondon-Davis, Tamara White, and Hanah Zahner-Isenberg.

SHOTGUN’S EDI Committee aims to move the organization forward by focusing on—and improving—equity, diversity, and inclusion in the following four areas:

  • The stories that we tell and the people who write them
  • The composition of the company, staff, and board, ensuring our decision-making processes are inclusive and equitable
  • The artists, technicians, and collaborators that make the work we put on our stages and in our spaces
  • The audience that comes to experience and participate in our work

Artist Survey

On September 3, 2020, Shotgun Players launched its first Inclusivity Survey via Poprouser, a BIPOC-owned and operated DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) HR firm with no ties to the Bay Area theatre community. We wanted to ensure that we could truly support commitments to anonymity and confidentiality during the duration of the survey by bringing in an impartial partner to manage the process.

The Survey concluded on September 22, and after compiling the data, we are now equipped to work on where the company needs to improve.

Read the Shotgun Acknowledgement, Apology + Pledge Here

Read the Artistic Director Apology + Pledge Here

How does Shotgun Players make bold, relevant, affordable theatre?

We’re committed to:

  • Fostering a spirit of ambition, innovation, risk-taking, and reflection
  • Creating ever more inclusive and accessible experiences
  • Cultivating ever stronger relationships with our whole community

How are we doing? Please send thoughts to edicom@shotgunplayers.org

Our EDI Goals

The EDI Committee is in the process of finalizing our new set of goals. Stay tuned for updates to this page!


To create a theatre experience that is inclusive of patrons and artists of all abilities. Specific accessibility initiatives this year include assisted listening devices, audio description, sensory set tours, autism-friendly nights, and WCAG AAA web accessibility.

Nonviolent Communication

To provide a safe environment for communication — and address assumptions that cause harm — in our meetings, community talks, and post-show conversations.

Diversity in Both Stories and Storytellers

To showcase the work of marginalized communities and to prioritize intersectional identities and stories in our productions.

Our EDI Initiatives

Discounted Tickets & Memberships

We make the theatre we produce accessible to anyone, regardless of their economic status. We offer a full week of pay-what-you-can performances at the beginning of each production. We also offer discounted tickets for artists and people 25 and under. And we have discounted memberships available for people 38 and under.

The Make a Difference (M.A.D.) Program

We give many young people their first paycheck in theatre by offering valuable work experience collaborating with and receiving mentorship from professionals from our artistic, administrative, and production teams. We support fledgling companies because we appreciate how important they are to a healthy arts ecosystem. And because high ticket prices can be a barrier to young folks, Shotgun offers $7 MAD tickets (less than a movie!) to anyone 25 and younger. Visit our M.A.D. page for more information about the program.

Accessible Facilities & Policies

The Ashby Stage is equipped with a wheelchair-accessible entrance, and there are wheelchair-accessible seats available for every Shotgun Players performance. These seats are reserved for guests with hearing, sight, mobility, or other access needs and their companions. A primary focus of the EDI committee is to improve Shotgun Players’ offerings to patrons with disabilities. Visit our accessibility page for more information about the accessibility of our facilities.

Gender-Inclusive Restrooms

Every restroom at the Ashby Stage and in our rehearsal studios is all-gender. Why did we do this? We want to make our facilities accessible to people of all gender identities.

Land Acknowledgement

"We believe that much of the pain our country is wrestling with right now stems from America's avoidance and ignorance of past wrongs. Just like any relationship, true healing can only begin where there have been heartfelt amends and work to repair the broken trust. This acknowledgement and support of the Land Tax are our first steps in that journey." - Patrick Dooley, Founding Artistic Director

In the spirit of humility and respect, we request that you join us in acknowledging that the land beneath this theatre and our studios and throughout the East Bay, is Huchiun [who-CHIN], the traditional, unceded land of the Lisjan [lih-SHAWN], Ohlone people.

This land was taken by force by Spanish, Mexican and U.S. armies and militias. Because we make theatre that calls us to reexamine our lives and the world around us, we believe it’s important to acknowledge this truth so everyone who lives here can think about what it means to benefit from this legacy. Sitting with this knowledge can be uncomfortable. One way to move towards a place of healing is to join in the work of restorative justice. Our company is taking direct action by paying our Shuumi Land Tax. “Shuumi” means “gift” in Chochenyo, the language of the Lisjan [lih-SHAWN]. The funds from the Shuumi Land Tax are used to facilitate the return of Bay Area native land to Indigenous stewardship and to help revitalize rich cultural practices and spiritual traditions that were lost in colonization.

To learn more about the work led by the urban, Indigenous women of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, and support the Native communities who still live on this land, please visit sogoreate-landtrust.org

If you have any questions or thoughts about this land acknowledgment, please email us at: feedback@shotgunplayers.org

Shotgun Players’ Community Agreements

We want everyone in our theatre to feel welcome and included. Here’s how you can help us make that happen:

Be an ally.

If you witness or experience behavior that makes you or someone else feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, or unsafe, and you don’t feel comfortable addressing it at the moment, please reach out to a staff member or send an email to feedback@shotgunplayers.org and we’ll make a timely plan to address it.

Be respectful of each others’ identities, and be thoughtful with your language.

Words or actions based on assumptions or generalizations about age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or any other status or characteristic can be hurtful. It’s ok to be curious but please be thoughtful about what you ask. To be clear: making derogatory comments, jokes, or slurs (regardless of intention) is not welcome.

Be aware of personal space.

Uninvited physical contact or sexual attention, including comments, jokes, and innuendos are also unwelcome (and uncool).

Be challenged!

Our work is provocative. It might make you uncomfortable, (and that can be a good thing!) but we do not want to re-traumatize or harm our audience members. We promise to be upfront and provide content advisories and resources so you’re ready for all our plays.

We're human, and we all make mistakes. We also strive to do right, and when we don't, we listen, learn, and commit to do better, every step of the way.

Thank you for keeping Shotgun safe and inclusive for all! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us: feedback@shotgunplayers.org