Our Pledge of Inclusivity


Dear friends,

The Pulp Stage is responding to the call for greater BIPoC (Black Indigenous, and People of Color) representation in American Theatre. As a company, we are invigorated by this call. We value Live Theatre as a tool for bringing out the best in humanity. Thus, we value greater humanity in our practice.

Our pledge: To perform, evaluate and refine new actions intended to create substantial BIPoC representation throughout The Pulp Stage.

Our goal is to have, by the end of 2025, a percentage of BIPoC in our company equal to or greater than the percentage of BIPoC in the Greater Portland metropolitan area (our homebase).

Below, we offer

-A brief summary of the company’s values and past

-A list of our Planned Inclusivity-Actions

-Our Next Steps in implementing those actions.

Our pledge is set and our past is unchangeable. However, our goal, Planned Inclusivity-Actions and Next Steps are part of a living document subject to changes through

-company circumstance

-welcome input from people outside of the company, particularly BIPoC

We will keep ourselves accountable by applying and dating any needed changes to this document in its home on our website


Since 2017, our mission has been “to offer easy tools for staging and savoring live theatre.” To date, the tools come in the form of our scripts: Exciting stories of science fiction, fantasy and suspense all written to be read out loud; no other staging necessary. The Easy Tools philosophy is built on a love of well-crafted escapist entertainment, a love of live exchange and a desire to bring those two together in the easiest way possible.

During the summer 2020, as we discussed how to best honor the national call for greater BIPoC representation, we identified some of our limitations: Circumstantially, we are a small and almost entirely volunteer-based company, operating in a predominantly white metropolitan area. Behaviorally, we have recruited entirely white leadership and offered shows that have been created by predominantly white artists and performed for predominantly white audiences.

However, alongside our limitations we have a tremendous strength:  We are dedicated to accessibility.

Our genres are accessible in that they attract audiences who often prefer movies and TV to live theatre. Our scripts are accessible in that they can successfully be performed by actors of multiple ability levels, produced inexpensively, mounted and toured easily and adapted fluidly for audio and video production.

Finally, our company’s operation methods are based on accessibility: We have earned praise and loyalty due to our patterns of clear goal-setting, frequent and routine communication, positive reinforcement, fusion of fun with productivity and-- particularly important in our present circumstance-- openness to new requests, participants and ideas.

Taking into account our limitations, behavior patterns and strength, we’ve created inclusivity plans, ambitious enough to create real change, but also scaled for achievability.


We believe that effective recruitment and retention of new company members and collaborators rests on

Internal Training for the company on racial equity

Outreach to individuals and communities that identify as BIPoC.

Our Internal Training will serve to prepare us for effective Outreach and for creating a company environment that is safer for a greater range of collaborators.

Our Outreach will serve to recruit collaborators and further educate us about how our company is perceived and can be made even more engaging.

In addition to our Internal Training and Outreach, we have recruitment projects specific to different areas of the company:

Broadening our genre requirements: While our previous qualifiers of Pulp have been Science Fiction, Fantasy and Suspense, we are now defining our Pulp output as "Rip-Roaring Plays." This definition keeps the aesthetic we hold dear while making room for other genres such as Romance, Shock Humor, Magical Realism and so on. (04/14/21)

Board of Directors: We have created a more specific company mission statement to attract more collaborators: "We electrify communities by sharing rip-roaring plays that only require voices and imagination." (04/14/21)  Also, we have redrafted our business plan to include a more specific breakdown of leadership roles that will need to be filled as we grow (12/28/20)

Playwrights: We will reach out to more BIPoC-indentifying writers to join our workshop program and thus, down the line, our writing team. (10/14/20)

Producers, Directors and Production Managers: We are creating assistance opportunities for leaders in development and production opportunities for qualified new leaders (12/28/20).

Performers: We are focusing on creating new shows containing characters that are racially neutral. We will cast these shows, embracing the opportunity to work with BIPoC performers. Likewise, we will produce qualifying scripts that are racially specific and we will collaborate with appropriate actors and directors for production. (04/14/21)

Audiences: We are committed to ongoing improvement of our storytelling craft for the broadest audience appeal (clear plots grounded in suspense aka “stories that hook you”). We will also collect input from BIPoC communities and collaborators as to which story topics appeal to them.  (12/28/20)



-Agree upon methods and routines of Internal Training. Invite members of the BIPoC community (including those outside of the theatre industry) to offer their perspectives on our plans.

-Identify communities, organizations and individuals for outreach

-Identify and prioritize different methods of outreach and networking

-Prioritize the projects we want to complete and the resulting Representation Milestones we want to achieve by the end of 2021.

Fulfilled in September with some adjustments made to these plans in our October Board meeting (10/14/20)


-Implement the Internal Training program

-Practice and evaluate our outreach efforts

(12/28/20) an additional item has been shifted to the next juncture, below


-Ongoing Internal Training program

-Ongoing practice and evaluation of outreach efforts

-Create and schedule specific action-plans for Representation Milestones of 2021


-Ongoing Internal Training program

-Ongoing practice and evaluation of outreach efforts

-Practice and evaluate our action plans to complete Representation Milestones of 2021

-Create and schedule specific action-plans for Representation Milestones of 2022 (12/28/20)


-Ongoing Internal Training

-Ongoing practice and evaluation of outreach efforts

-Practice and evaluate our action plans to complete Representation Milestones of 2022

-Create and schedule specific action-plans for Representation Milestones of 2023 (12/28/20)


-Same schedule and rate of ongoing activity, evaluation and planning (12/28/20)

-Create a manual, reflecting our most successful methods of achieving representation and retention


-Initial goal of substantial BIPoC representation and retention achieved

-Finalize the manual

-Follow the manual to continue expanding our community of company members, collaborators and audiences

-Ongoing internal training

Again, the above Planned Inclusivity-Actions and Next Steps are part of a living document. Your suggestions are welcome. Matt Haynes, the company’s Artistic Director, can be reached at pulpstagematt@gmail.com

With gratitude and delight,

-The Pulp Stage Board of Directors

Susan Brookfield

Racheal Joy Erickson (present at the formation of this pledge but retired from board service, 10/14/20)

Matt Haynes

Jeff Kuenle

Kaia Maarja-Hillier (present at the formation of this pledge but retired from board service (12/16/20)

John Marks

Colleen Socha (joined Board on December 16 and present for the 12/28/20 review of this document)

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