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21st Century Acting: Race and Inclusive Practice – What Next?

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Shakespeare’s Globe and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama co-host a two-day symposium exploring one of the most crucial questions in theatre today.

The arts are positioned in a moment of great potential: industry and academic leaders are being held accountable to create more ‘inclusive’ training centres, programmes and venues. However, new questions have revealed a tremendous gap between desired outcomes and practical reality. 

Over two days we’ll consider the use of institutional frameworks such as target setting, diversity policies and decolonisation practices, and consider how they might be contributing to – and intervening in – contemporary discourses in the conservatoire and in the professional theatre. How are the Globe and Central specifically working for and against notions of Shakespeare as a monument of white privilege? And how do we all engage meaningfully with professional and student actors in the mandates for inclusivity, diversity and equity in the academy and rehearsal room?

Student Bursary

We’re offering a bursary programme for students. It includes a complimentary ticket to the symposium and offers support for transport and food for both days of the event. We evaluate applications for the bursary programme on equitable standards of access. Just call, text or e-mail Symposium Coordinator Michael Norton at (+44) 7513 724431 or at symposium.bursary@cssd.ac.uk to start your application.

Both days of the symposium will be BSL interpreted. If you have any other access requirements, please contact Michael at (+44) 7513 724431 or at michael.norton@cssd.ac.uk.



Symposium Schedule

Read the full programme. 

Thursday 12 September

9.45am - 5.00pm

Location: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, 62-64 Eton Ave, London NW3 3HY. (How to find us)

Where We Are Now: Race, Theatre and Inclusive Practice in 2019


  • Harvey Young (Boston University)
  • Jatinder Verma (Tara Arts)
  • Dr Farah Karim Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe)

Chair: Kaleya Baxe (Student, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Unlimited Access: Decolonising Auditions and Admissions 

Chair: Jamie Wheeler (Student, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)


  • David Bond (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)
  • David Mumeni (Open Door) 

Meeting the Student: Cultural Identity and Sensitivity in Actor Training 


  • Pamela Jikiemi (RADA)
  • Sophie Mensah (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) 
  • Siiri Scott (University of Notre Dame)
  • Monica Ndounou (Dartmouth College)

Chair: Dr. Jessica Hartley (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Friday 13 September

10.00am - 4.00pm

Location: Shakespeare’s Globe (Getting to the Globe)

Seeing the Actor: Casting Consciously in the Professional Theatre

Chair: Professor Sonia Maasai (King’s College London)


  • Steven Kavuma (Writer, Theatre Director and Creative Producer)
  • Stella Kanu (Executive Director, LIFT)
  • Federay Holmes (Theatre Director)

Reading the Room: Caring for Actors on a Diversely Cast Production

Chaired by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper


  • Kobna Holdbrooke-Smith (Actor)
  • Leaphia Darko (Actor, Writer, Musician)
  • Shubham Saraf (Actor)

Destabilising the Monuments to White Privilege: Twenty-first Century Actor Training 

Chair: Dr. Sylvan Baker (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)


Book Now

The booking link will take you to the Globe's website.

Event price

Tickets (Inclusive of both days) £75/£25 concession.

Event dates

12 Sep 2019 - 10:00am to 13 Sep 2019 - 4:00pm

Book Now