Shelby-Allison Hibbs  |  Breakout Session

Shelby is joined by Kymberly Mellen for a session called "It Starts With Us: Utilizing the Chicago Theatre Standards to Create an Intimate Touch Policy in Academic Settings". Shelby also will join Jessica Renae for a discussion after "Intimacy Directors: Creativity and Consent"

About this session: Theatre makers work in a variety of environments, particularly when starting out in the field as a female artist. There's such pressure to say "yes" to every opportunity and be game for anything at this early stage. It can seem like you work at the whims of the director or producer if there is nothing else to hold those in power accountable. While AEA offers standardization for how a professional theatre operates, artists beginning their careers typically spend time working for non-equity theatres. What are the guidelines then? What should you look for when signing a contract for a non-equity or experimental company? How do you know when boundaries are crossed in this kind of workplace? What action can you take in that situation? This is why training and discussions in the academic environment are critical. 

While the Chicago Theatre Standards were created to address abuse of power and sexual harassment, the document covers a broad picture of concerns in the professional environment. Using the standards (or establishing your own) in your academic setting can empower students to speak up when trespasses occur, seek a pathway for mediation when problems arise, and identify common best practices that are often taken for granted. This workshop will examine how the CTS can be utilized in academic settings as a tool for accountability and mediation, empowering student artists to speak up rather than create a "Whisper Network."


About Shelby-Allison

Shelby-Allison Hibbs is a director and award-winning writer.  She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas.  In Dallas, she has worked with numerous theatres as a director, playwright, and teaching artist. She is a contributor for Theater Jones and has been published in HowlRound, Ecumenica, Theatre Topics, Dallas Observer, and Texas Theater Journal. She is a member of Dallas Playwright’s Workshop with The Dallas Theater Center. Recently, she wrote essays and investigative reporting for Theater Jones on sexual misconduct in the DFW Theatre community entitled “The Whisper Network.” She has presented scholarly and creative work at several national conferences with MATC and SCMLA.  She is a graduate of the MFA program at Baylor University.