The Free Will Players Guild creates professional, contemporary, innovative productions of the works of William Shakespeare that are accessible to most audiences, regardless of age, ability, education, or income levels, while also developing new audiences and mentoring theatre professionals of the future.
We are taking the time during the cancellation of the 2020 Festival due to Covid-19 to review our organization's structure and practices, especially when it comes to reflecting the diversity of Edmonton.
The Free Will Board and the Diversity Committee have been looking to take concrete action in order to move the organization forward in being more equitable and diverse and are taking steps in making that a reality. The 35//50 Initiative has asked professional theatres in Alberta to commit to a set of organizational beliefs and policies that will result in 35%+ of staff and contractors who identify as Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour and 50%+ of staff and contractors who identify as female and non-binary. The Free Will Shakespeare Festival has begun making changes in order to better represent the Edmonton community and believe in many of the goals of this call to action. We look forward to working with the members of the 35//50 Initiative in order to meet the 35% and 50% metrics by the 2024/25 theatre season. We have much work to make these changes but we strongly believe that these changes are necessary and long overdue.
CLICK to read the 35//50 Call to Action: http://bit.ly/35_50InitiativeYEG
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather is Treaty No. 6 territory and a traditional meeting ground and home of the First Nations, including both the treaty signatories – Cree, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Stony and Cree-Iroquois – as well as other Indigenous peoples who did not sign the treaty, such as the Blackfoot and Métis, who occupied this land. We extend our appreciation for the opportunity to live, create and perform on this territory.