Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

Why aren’t there more people who look like me at the “top” of the industry?

A Conversation about Access, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion with Sound Designers & Composers

A Roundtable Discussion moderated by Jacqueline Lawton

- Event RSVP



  • Access and Opportunity:
    • How do we disrupt the Scarcity Narrative in the American Theatre?
    • How do we talk to the gatekeepers about developing new talent?
    • A small group of “elite” designers block the road to Broadway & Major Regional design work.  How do we disrupt this?
    • How do we convince people to share the wealth?
    • How do we help each other advocate for a proper wage?
    • How do we change the culture of overbooked designers & the effect it has on Associate advancement and career development?
  • Strategies for Survival: 
    • What do you do when you believe you have been hired as a token employee or panelist?
    • Do we mind being hired to “check boxes” to fulfill diversity initiatives? Does this increase harm as people functioning as “tokens” have to tolerate microaggressions to get ahead?
    • How can I advocate for myself as an artist first? 
    • How can we avoid the “Oppression Olympics” while still holding space for each other? 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
    • How do we create allies?
    • How do we create space for non-binary folks?
    • How can we insist on and create diverse teams (race, gender, education, gender expression etc)? How can we widen hiring pools?
    • How can we support those who are the most vulnerable among us?


Let us Develop Action Steps and Brainstorm ways to help each other! 


JACQUELINE E. LAWTON is a playwright, dramaturg, producer, racial equity facilitator, and advocate for Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the American Theatre. Her approach to facilitation is anti-racist, anti-bigoted, and intersectional. Her work examines the ways that racism, bigotry, misogyny, and ableism impact policy, practices, and pedagogy. She is centered on the individual, whether you work at a theatre, university, or nonprofit organization. Because each of us has an individual and collective responsibility to ourselves and each other, we must be accountable for our actions and inactions. Recent clients have included Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Dramatists Guild, Education Theatre Association, the English National Opera, Flat Rock Playhouse, HERE Arts Center, James Madison University’s School of Theatre and Dance, Local 802 – American Federation of Musicians, Maestra Music, Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, PACE School of Performing Arts, PACE Actor Studio Drama Program, PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre, PlayMakers Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, ScriptWorks, Theatre Communication Group, the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts, and Vagabond Theatre. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a dramaturg for PlayMakers Repertory Company. She is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America and is their NC Regional Rep. 

Back to Calendar