Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Studio 58 at Langara College is dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within all of our classrooms and public spaces. This work is in alignment with Langara’s commitment to develop an EDI strategy as part of its 2025 Strategic Plan, Weaving a shared future.

Recent Initiatives

Guest Panels

The panelists and attendees of a Diversity Committee event; photo by Jillian Burke

The Diversity Committee’s Spring 2023 panel featured Indigenous artists Raes Calvert, Cameron Peal and Kaitlyn Yott. These artists discussed the challenges of working in theatre, film and television under colonialism, and how non-Indigenous folks can become allies.

Carmen Aguirre, Cultural Consultant for A Chorus Line (2023) 

The cast of A Chorus Line (2023); photo by Emily Cooper

We brought in award–winning theatre artist, novelist and Studio 58 graduate Carmen Aguirre as a Cultural Consultant for A Chorus Line to ensure the cultural components of the show were handled with intention and care. 

In A Chorus Line, there were two Latinx characters, one of whom was portrayed by a racialized non-Latinx actor. The two understudies were also non-Latinx. 

Carmen shared that “in the past, when there were culturally specific characters from a racialized, minority community and the actors portraying those characters were not from said community, it wasn’t considered important to bring in a consultant from that community to ensure that the portrayals were well-rounded, dignified, complex, and true. Oftentimes this led to an unintentional reinforcement of racist stereotype.” 

Ongoing Actions

Studio 58 Diversity Committee 

Established in 2016, Studio 58’s Diversity Committee is a student-led initiative to discuss and promote equity, diversity and inclusion at Studio 58. The Committee meets throughout the school year to actively contribute to this culture at Studio 58. They also host panel discussions twice per year. 

Follow the Diversity Committee on Instagram and Facebook. 

Parallel Play

The cast of Anony(mous) 2019; photo by David Cooper

Parallel Play is an extensive online database of culturally diverse plays and playwrights in development. It is a collection curated by those working in theatre and is designed for all. The database will offer filters for cultural, gender-based identities, age, cast size, themes, style and many other properties to help you in your search.  

The project has passed through two phases of approval to be included as part of Langara’s 2025 Strategic Plan, Weaving a shared future. Studio 58 is working to assure its long-term sustainability and management. 

Bakau Consulting Survey

In spring 2021, our staff worked with Bakau Consulting on an internal audit to evaluate challenges and identify areas of EDI growth within our program. This survey was sent to Studio 58 graduates, students, faculty and staff. We received many responses which were invaluable in identifying next steps. A sincere thank you to those who provided feedback – we are grateful for your generosity in sharing your experiences. 

Many initiatives highlighted by the internal audit by Bakau Consulting touched upon areas of work already in progress at Studio 58. These include our aims to: 

Establish and ensure a culture of transparency and accountability. 
Studio 58 adheres to the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association’s Not in OUR Space! program, which “seeks to ensure safe working conditions for all professionals working in live performance across the country.” Our commitment to this program and the types of behaviour it covers is shared regularly with students, staff and external contractors, including professional theatre practitioners. On top of this framework, we continually build specific guidelines within it based on meetings with students, faculty and staff. 

Studio 58 students can also access Langara’s Counselling; Health Services; Student Conduct & Acadmic Integrity Office; and Indigenous Education and Services (The Gathering Space) for additional support. 

Stay current with and integrate best practices in classroom and rehearsal environments.  
As a training facility that prepares students for the professional world, we acknowledge the need for positive, safe, and healthy classrooms and rehearsal spaces. We establish an open line of communication with our students, faculty, staff, and visiting professionals in order to provide feedback for improvement.  

Enhance mental health support services within the program.
Langara College provides free access to ongoing mental health support for current students, staff and faculty. As a department within Langara College, we are committed to the following: 

  • Continual dialogue with Langara College counsellors who use trauma-informed and anti-oppressive approaches 
  • Foster an environment of compassion and care within the program 
  • Continue the open-door policy to allow for student thoughts and recommendations regarding the topic of mental health and trauma at Studio 58 

Continue to enhance curriculum. 
Our curriculum is constantly evolving in areas of EDI. This includes: 

  • Expanding reading lists, plays and production material to include works by diverse playwrights and theatre makers 
  • When possible, engaging students in choosing their own roles, scene and production projects as they relate to EDI issues 
  • Include EDI-specific projects in Acting and Production streams 

Establish a network/council of graduates from different generations to continually provide feedback and help Studio 58 move forward. 
Studio 58’s Program Advisory Committee is composed of industry professionals, many of whom are Studio 58 graduates. The Committee’s role is to advise and act as liaison between Studio 58 and the professional community. The Committee often advises Studio 58 on matters related to EDI which are incorporated into Studio 58’s operations. 

Ensure all posts use alt text and meet accessibility standards. 
Alt text describes the appearance or function of an image. Alt text is, and will continue to be, a standard practice for Studio 58’s social media platforms. 

Enhance audition accessibility by continuing to provide virtual options. 
The 2023 auditions for our Acting program were offered both in-person and online and the auditions for our Production program are solely offered online. These formats will continue to be offered.  

Increase recruitment activity on social media platforms. 
With the support of Langara’s Strategic Communications & Marketing and Recruitment departments, we consistently promote our program on our social media platforms. This includes the promotion of online and in-person information sessions for prospective students to meet our team and ask questions. We also promote our auditions via social media. Social media allows us to reach a wide range of prospective students from many communities. 

Ensure studio58.ca meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. 
Langara College is committed to meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Future updates of the Langara.ca and Studio58.ca websites will incorporate improvements to accessibility as those guidelines evolve. 

Future Goals 

We acknowledge that some initiatives require additional work and support, and we are committed to their advancement. In fall 2022, Langara College hired Dr. Joy Walcott-Francis, its first Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We look forward to working with Dr. Walcott-Francis to assist Studio 58 in our furthering our EDI initiatives. These include but are not limited to: 

  • Improve areas of accessibility and accommodations within the program 
  • Ensure students feel safe and empowered 
  • Encourage student engagement with Langara Student Services to ensure support for them 
  • Use gender-neutral language throughout policies and program materials 
  • Connect with local communities and/or organizations that support, equity, diversity and inclusion for early-career theatre artists