The principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to the mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa, as we conduct our work in the context of the whole of humanity. Below you will find the Department of Theatre Art’s Core Values and Community Agreements. 

Core Values 

  • Our community strives towards inclusivity and belonging—across race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, and socioeconomic background— wherein all are encouraged to exchange ideas openly and strive for understanding and mutual respect.  
  • We nurture and support creative risk-taking—in research, in writing, on projects, scenes, readings, and productions alike—among our faculty, staff, students, and guest artists.  
  • We encourage, model, and pursue innovation and excellence in all the work we do—in the classroom, studio, community, research, and rehearsal space, and on stage—where inquisitiveness, experimentation, and engagement of the imagination are championed. 
  • We strive to ensure the well-being of students, faculty, staff, and all collaborators fostering personal and collective well-being in our artistic and scholarly practices. 

Collective Agreements 

  • Honor and center humanity. 
  • Foster and practice empathy. 
  • Encourage transparency and respect boundaries. 
  • Prioritize physical, mental, and emotional health. 
  • Assume that everyone has the best intentions.  


Foster safe and creative spaces to support the Core Values and Community Agreements with the following:  

Dailies – Basic Tenets  

  • Recognize what makes us different; celebrate what brings us together. 
  • Establish daily check-ins before and after to support shared authority and responsibility. 
  • Make time and space to allow everyone a voice in the room. 
  • Provide dialogue and experience, resources and materials that support the Core Values including:  
  • Diversity on production teams to center different perspectives in the room. 
  • Production, research, and study of performance and practice from BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and disabled sources, spaces, creators, and devisers. 
  • Diverse artist and guest representation from local, national, and global theatre-making communities. 

Creativity and Risk-Taking 

  • Our productions are a laboratory; support the freedom to experiment. 
  • Don’t assume knowledge. Acknowledge uncertainty and be okay with not knowing. 
  • Respect the process and be willing to fail; failure does not equal shame. 
  • Encourage and support interdisciplinary work. 
  • In order to meet people where they are and move forward together, we must create a brave space as well as a safe space which includes: 
  • Creating and respecting personal and professional boundaries.
  • Providing support for people whom you ask to take risks. 
  • Moving at the speed of trust. 
  • Having space to share without repercussions. 

Building Relationships 

  • Establish trust, be open to other perspectives, and respect when someone says “no” or “I don’t know.” 
  • Grant each other grace and also take responsibility.  
  • Be clear about whether you want a sounding board or a solution. 
  • Foster diversity, equity, and inclusion. Acknowledge privilege, and do not generalize anyone’s experience. 
  • Honor feedback by: 
    • Holding on tightly; letting go lightly.
    • Creating a structure for feedback (time, place, consent). 
    • Acknowledging that we’re all learning. 

Speaking and Listening 

  • Speak in draft; allow for pauses and differences in communication styles. 
  • Value silence and hold space for difficult and unanswerable questions in conversation. 
  • Agreements should be made verbally in order to avoid assumptions.  
  • Practice active listening and assume the best intentions to understand and learn. 
  • Encourage questions and discussion while being both direct and respectful. 
  • Make sure all voices are heard. 
    • Take into account cultural and regional differences. 
    • Make room for dissent. 
    • Encourage and support self-advocacy. 

Sharing Time and Tasks 

  • Define/Clarify expectations, roles, and goals. 
  • Respect the schedule and each other’s time by doing your part and following through with what was asked of you; be prepared. 
  • Put rest on your list; actually, take breaks. 
    • Goals do not equal product. 
    • Know your own goals and the goals of others. 
    • Reassessment is always possible.