Our behavior represents who we are as individuals, and also contributes to the identity of the groups we are in.
Winning on stage requires an audience’s good will, and this cannot be achieved without maintaining our reputation within the wider community. Our performers and our students may sometimes be required to come face to face with complex moral issues. We must be able to tackle them truthfully and honestly with good grace and sensitivity. It is everybody’s responsibility to approach this task with courage, commitment, honestly, respect and professionalism so that the person opposite you can trust you, and you can trust them.
Free speech is a measure of a free society and it is the duty of the comic to speak the truth. People will sometimes be offended, but it should never be your intention to offend anybody, either on or off stage. The first rule of improv is ‘yes, and’. The ‘yes’ means accepting the reality we find ourselves in, and the ‘and’ endows us with a personal responsibility to respond. This means we might find ourselves in vulnerable positions where we are challenged to make brave choices. A brave choice doesn’t mean putting up with something you find distasteful, it means having the courage to do what is right. At any level, if you are ever unsure, then you are encouraged to do the courageous thing and stop.
We expect everyone in our community to make a commitment to their own learning, and we promise to make the same commitment in return to support you whenever it is required. We also expect every member of our community to make a commitment to support each other, welcoming the exploration of other peoples ideas. If we all make an effort to look after each other, then we can all feel safe that we are being looked after in return.
Dishonesty will immediately harm trust and group cohesion. Del Close famously said that ‘the truth is funny’. On stage we must aim to be the best versions of the characters we play, not mock or undermine them based on our own personal biases. You must challenge yourself to see every perspective fairly, even the perspectives you disagree with, as truthfully as you can.
Respect is fundamental in our community. There is no place for favouritism, prejudice or discrimination. All of the members of our community will be treated fairly and equally at all times. All of the members of our community will be eligible for the same opportunities at all times. This same level of respect will be extended to our audiences at all times. Respect comes down to simply remembering that other peoples rights are just as important as your own.
It is everybody’s individual responsibility to adhere to the community test at all times. Excessive intoxication, discrimination, bullying and unwanted sexual advances will all have a detrimental effect on our community, and all are unacceptable. Instructors are expected to set an example to performers, performers are expected to set an example to students, and students are expected to set an example to our audience.
All of the members of our community have the right to feel safe and free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or intimidation, any matter thought to contravene civil or criminal law will be passed on to the appropriate authority. Anyone found to be breaking the law and subsequently bringing our community into disrepute will be instantly and indefinitely banned.
The Community Test
‘Could your actions have a negative impact on the reputation of our community?’
In all circumstances, consider the community test. Any behaviour considered to fall below this standard will be subject to review. During a review a period of suspension will take place and a board will discuss the actions before a decision is made. Warnings and exclusions may be applied.