Music Theatre and Opera Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives

Our acknowledgement

As faculty​, staff and students working together, we seek to identify and eradicate racism and xenophobia in our curriculum, teaching, performance and practice by centering our work on diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.

​Through meaningful feedback and conversation among faculty, staff, students and alumni, we have identified the following commitments we will be involved with as an area. Everything is a work in progress, and this list will be added to and revised as we continue to have conversations, evolve, remain transparent, and incorporate this work into all we do.

Our commitment

  • Keep diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism at the center of all our conversations as we move forward in creating new curricular and administrative structures in the new School of Music, Dance and Theatre.
  • Identify music theatre and opera faculty, staff and students that will be actively involved in school-wide efforts, including serving on the Faculty and Staff Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the School of Music, Dance and Theatre I.D.E.A. committee for students.
  • Create an on-going system through which individuals may report concerns that can be addressed within our area. The system will ensure transparency and accountability and be available on all internal communications to ensure accessibility for all students, faculty and staff to report. This and additional resources for reporting will also be provided, as well as links to the ASU Title IX policy and protection against retaliation.
  • Continue to support and also expand the Student Leadership Team to ensure student opportunities and input in season selection, student-led productions and other area efforts and initiatives.
  • Ensure all students and faculty/staff have the opportunity to receive training in diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist practices in performing arts through the hosting of regular workshops and guest artists which may be offered in collaboration with other areas. Work with faculty and students to create regular community conversations and team-building events and exercises, involving all in supportive learning conversations centered on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Continually re-evaluate all we do in order to prioritize resources of time, talent and money toward efforts that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Work together to thoroughly investigate and eradicate systemic racism in curricular structures of music, dance and theatre.
  • Provide Mental Health First Aid certification to faculty, staff and students who are interested.
  • Provide training opportunities for students, faculty and staff in Intimacy staging, and engage Intimacy coordinators for productions where appropriate.
  • Ensure diversity among our creative teams for all productions and, if necessary, engage diversity consultants in casting of productions where necessary.
  • Continually revise audition language and processes to increase accessibility, providing educational resources in auditions to help students navigate the requirements, and publicizing resources for funding for college auditions.
  • Establish and maintain an equitable protocol for recorded auditions, as well as financial assistance for students unable to audition due to financial hardship.
  • Ensure that our complete seasonal offerings include works that involve composers, lyricists/librettists and writers from under-represented groups including women and people of color, as well as LGBTQ+ authorship where representation is concerned.
  • Work with our students, faculty and staff to ensure our complete season offerings are providing equitable casting opportunities for all students.
  • Carefully plan our marketing efforts in order to project all voices and all projects equitably, including faculty and student led productions, cabarets, recitals, collaborations, readings, student/alumni features and more.
  • Support an annual student-led Color Cabaret open to all students to help increase opportunities for composers, lyricists/librettists and performers of color.
  • Establish a cohort of artists of color locally and nationally who can be regularly and meaningfully involved in our season in an ongoing way.
  • Ensure that our social media is projecting all voices and fully reflects and celebrates who we are and all we do.
  • Collaborate with our alumni involved in United Colours of Arizona Theatre and throughout the community to foster ongoing conversations between faculty, alumni and current students centered on diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
  • Engage in additional and on-going partnerships with community organizations and arts institutions, including youth and educational programs and organizations focused on representation, to co-create and co-design mutually beneficial opportunities for learning and community engagement.
  • Work with our partners in music, dance and theatre and across the school to create and adopt a land acknowledgement that would be shared and visible for all public events and put forth in all our work and projects. 
  • Create and foster spaces and systems that support students, staff, faculty and audience members with disabilities and neurodivergencies.
  • Request additional faculty positions focused on increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in our curriculum and training.
  • Increase access and stream-lined support for obtaining internal and external funding for efforts focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Hold live auditions throughout the country or provide opportunities for video auditions in order to increase accessibility.


In order to hold ourselves accountable and provide transparency, we agree to:

  • Equitably put forth all our efforts and initiatives on our website and other public-facing resources.
  • Disclose admissions data and demographics of our students and faculty as permitted.
  • Provide an annual written report that evaluates all we do in any single season to address each of the items above, as well as an opportunity to revise this document together, and regularly add other initiatives in order to remain flexible, adaptable and current in all our practices.
  • Annually update this website and all of the above information to provide transparency and opportunity for feedback, including from students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.

Transparency, feedback and reporting

ASU Music, Theatre and Opera Annual DEI Report

2021 - 2022

Any comments, ideas or feedback on this page or any of the efforts above may be directed to the School of Music, Dance and Theatre leadershipHerberger Institute leadership or:

Additional resources

ASU Student Services includes safe reporting mechanisms, Counseling Services, Disability Resources, Health Services, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Student Advocacy and Assistance, and more.