Policies for Contractors

equal opportunity statement

Actors Bridge believes that all individuals are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees, applicants for employment, or contractors because of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, military or veteran status, marital status, or any other status or characteristic protected by law.  This policy applies to all terms, conditions, privileges, and practices of employment and contracting, including establishing minimum qualifications required for jobs; recruiting; interviewing; hiring; assignment of duties; training; promotion; compensation; performance requirements and appraisals; discipline and termination; and maintaining a working environment free from harassment.

non-harrassment policy


Actors Bridge is firmly committed to providing a work environment in which employees and contractors are treated with respect, fairness, and dignity, and which is free from harassment of any kind, including harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or religious or political beliefs.

Actors Bridge will not tolerate any form of harassment in the workplace.  Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination and/or dismissal.

The use of Actors Bridge facilities, property, or equipment (including social media, e-mail and voice mail) to send, distribute, duplicate, store, or display harassing materials is prohibited.  

In enacting this policy, it is not Actors Bridge’s intent to discourage social interaction in the workplace.  To the contrary, the workplace should be a friendly and welcoming environment.  The intent of this policy is for employees and contractors to think about what they say and do in the workplace and to use a common sense approach in dealing with each other.  At all times, employees and contractors should treat each other with respect and dignity.

dating policy

Actors Bridge strongly believes that a work environment where employees and contractors maintain clear boundaries between personal and business interactions is most effective for creative production to thrive.

In order to minimize the risk of conflicts of interest and promote fairness, Actors Bridge maintains the following policy with respect to romance in the workplace:

No supervisor (directors, producers, stage managers, instructors) shall have or pursue a romantic or sexual relationship with any contractor or employee who reports to the supervisor or over whom the supervisor has the authority and/or responsibility to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, assign or direct. If such a relationship exists prior to contracting with Actors Bridge, both the involved supervisor and involved contractor or employee shall report such relationship to the Producing Artistic Director who shall take appropriate steps consistent with this policy, including the removal of any reporting or similar relationship between the supervisor and the contractor or employee.

Upon request, Actors Bridge may grant exceptions to this policy if it determines that the relationship 1) existed prior to the professional relationship between the parties at Actors Bridge, and 2) does not present a likelihood of abuse of power by or exploitation of either party.

For pre-existing relationships between supervisors and contractors or employees, workplace dating must not interfere with any contractor or employee’s professionalism, including treating others with respect and refraining from behavior that may make others feel uncomfortable (for example, overt physical displays of affection and using sexual language). In particular, personnel in management roles are expected to set a high standard of professional conduct both at work and in social settings sponsored by Actors Bridge. For this reason, management personnel should refrain from social interaction with those who report to them which might be perceived as inappropriate (e.g.: unwanted flirting, touching or other behavior that may be regarded as sexual harassment).

Pre-existing relationships should be disclosed to the Artistic Director in writing (via email) prior to casting or hiring.

rehearsal and performance policies for sensitive content

Sexual Content and Nudity

Actors Bridge is committed to creating a safe environment in which all theater makers can take bold artistic risks. To that end, we believe an atmosphere of trust and open communication is paramount.

For plays containing Sexual Content and Nudity (SC/N), the contact will be described in detail at auditions so that actors can make an informed decision as to whether they are comfortable auditioning for the roles.

All plays involving SC/N will be assigned an intimacy choreographer who is not also serving as director or stage manager. It is the job of the intimacy choreographer to stage scenes involving SC/N, attend to the physical and emotional safety of the actors involved, stage believable scenes while protecting the well being of the ensemble, maintain open communication among all involved parties.

When rehearsing scenes involving SC/N, the actors, director, intimacy choreographer, and stage manager will discuss the content and develop a plan for rehearsals. Participants will create a consent plan, discuss boundaries and determine a safe word before beginning any rehearsal of SC/N scenes. Stage manager should document the terms of consent and details of sexual choreography and be present for every SC/N rehearsal.  

All rehearsals with SC/N should be closed, such that only the participating actors, stage manager, director and choreographer are present until such time as mutually agreed upon by all participants.  At the end of every SC/N rehearsal, participating actors should have a designated opportunity to discuss potential boundary concerns. If boundaries shift during the rehearsal process (either broadening or narrowing), these shifts should be discussed and documented to ensure all parties understand and agree to the changing terms. As part of the rehearsal plan for SC/N, participants should determine alternate choreography for sick days (sore throat, cold sore, etc.). It is the actor’s responsibility to inform the stage manager and their scene partner(s) if they are unwell prior to any rehearsal or performance of intimate contact.

*See Appendix A for SC/N Checklist.

Inclusion and Representation

Actors Bridge is committed to telling the stories Nashville needs to hear. Many times, these stories include experiences of violence, racism, homophobia, and other challenging content. We seek to create a safe environment to produce culturally sensitive work. When staging scenes of cultural violence, or other culturally charged narratives and language, we will follow the same practice of consent building and closed rehearsals outlined in the Sexual Content and Nudity (SC/N) section above.

complaint procedure

See Appendix A (below) regarding conflict resolution plan for the rehearsal and performance of sensitive content.

Any employee or contractor who feels he or she has been subjected to any kind of unwanted harassment must report the incident immediately to the Producing Artistic Director.  All complaints received will be promptly investigated.  Information will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the Actors Bridge’s obligation to investigate and respond to complaints of harassment.  An employee or contractor will not be retaliated against for participating in an investigation or for filing a claim of harassment in good faith – even if the allegations cannot be substantiated.  Employees and contractors should be aware that allegations of harassment are very serious.  No employee or contractor may knowingly and intentionally make a false allegation of harassment in order to harass, intimidate, or retaliate against another individual.

Artistic Director Vali Forrister may be reached by phone at (615) 498-4077 or email at vali@actorsbridge.org

Company mailing address is 4610 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209


APPENDIX A.

CHECKLIST FOR THE REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE POLICY FOR SENSITIVE CONTENT

 

Production: ______________________________________________________

Director: ______________________________________________________

Stage Manager: ________________________________________________

Intimacy Choreographer: _________________________________________

Actors Involved: ______________________________________________________

Checklist:

___Actors, Director, Stage Manager, Intimacy Choreographer discussed content and developed plan for SC/N rehearsals including:

____ Consent Plan

____ Boundaries

____ Safe Word

___ All SC/N rehearsals are closed except for:

___ Participating Actors

___ Stage Manager

___ Director

___ Intimacy Choreographer

until a date to be determined and mutually agreed upon by all parties named above.

Closed rehearsals until __________________________________ (date).

___ Each SC/N rehearsal will have time for debriefing concerns.

____ Boundary shifts during rehearsal (broadening or narrowing) will be discussed and documented.

____ Alternate choreography for sick days will be included in the rehearsal plan.

____ Actors know to inform Stage Manager and Scene Partner(s) if they are unwell prior to any SC/N rehearsal.

____ Conflict resolution plan is in place and has been communicated to all parties.

This is typically a 3-step approach:
1. Talk directly to the person with whom the conflict has arisen.
2. Tell the Stage Manager, Director or Intimacy Choreographer.
3. Contact Actors Bridge Artistic Director.
Each process can differ based on the needs of the group as long as it is clearly articulated, agreed upon and includes contacting ABE artistic director when needed.