The Non-Traditional Casting Project
by Sharon Jensen, NTCP
Established in 1986, the Non-Traditional Casting Project (NTCP) is a not-for-profit advocacy organization whose purpose is to address and seek solutions to the problems of racism and exclusion in theatre, film and television. The only organization of its kind in the country, NTCP's principal concerns are that artists of color -- African American, Asian American, Caribbean Black, Indian (subcontinental), Latino and Native American; female artists; Deaf and hard of hearing artists and artists with disabilities are denied equitable professional opportunities; and that this exclusion is not only patently discriminatory, but a serious loss to the cultural life of the nation. Furthermore, this exclusion has resulted in a theatre, film and television industry that does not reflect the diversity of our society.
NTCP works to advance the participation of artists of color, female artists, artists who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and artists with disabilities. NTCP objectives are to promote inclusive hiring practices and standards, diversity in programming, and balanced portrayals of persons of color and persons with disabilities. NTCP considers this a comprehensive issue which extends to the participation of actors, directors, designers, writers, choreographers -- all those who make up the artistic team; as well as the production staff; the administrative staff, Boards of Directors and audience.
NTCP advocates the full participation of artists of color and artists with disabilities through the strengthening of culturally-specific and disability-specific institutions as well as through expanding opportunities at institutions that primarily produce or present work based in a European tradition.
Recognizing that control over all artistic aspects of a production rightly belongs to its creative team, NTCP works cooperatively -- not confrontationally -- as catalyst, facilitator, and when necessary, mediator. The ultimate aim of NTCP is for all artists to be considered as individuals and to achieve within the profession, as well as the public, a better understanding of and respect for racial, cultural and physical difference.
The arc of NTCP's work involves 1) advocacy in shaping policy in the profession toward a more inclusive standard, 2) consciousness raising and education, and 3) specific programs through which producers, directors, and casting directors can implement inclusion.
To date, NTCP has established the following programs:
NTCP has been recognized for its work with an OBIE in 1987, a New England Theatre Conference award in 1992, a New York City Mayor's Very Special Arts award in 1993, and a Drama Desk in 1995.
The Non-Traditional Casting Project has received support from the Shubert Foundation, American Express Company, The Lawson Valentine Foundation, Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild-Producers Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America, The Mackintosh Foundation, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, New York Community Trust, League of American Theatres and Producers, Theatre Development Fund, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Herb Alpert Foundation, AT&T Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, PLAYBILL, The Really Useful Company, JP Morgan, Actors' Equity Foundation, Livent Inc., Jujamcyn Theatres Corp., Capital Cities/ABC Foundation, National Broadcasting Corporation, Inc., the Edith Meiser Foundation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, IBM Corporation, HBO, Michael Douglas, Lawrence Ramer Family Fund, NYNEX, Chase Manhattan Bank, Philip Morris Companies Inc., Union Camp Corporation, Grossbart Barnett Productions and The Dole Foundation.
While some gains have been made in the last 11 years in the area of disability, NTCP recognizes that much remains to be done to achieve full inclusion, diversity and accessibility in American theatre, film and television. For more information, contact the Non-Traditional Casting Project, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10036. Telephone -- 212/730-4750, Fax -- 212/730-4820, TDD -- 212/730-4913; NTCP's web site-- http://www.ntcp.org; e-mail -- email@example.com
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