Brown | Trinity Rep M.F.A. Programs in Acting and Directing

Mission & Vision

Our Commitments.


Brown/Trinity Rep is a Master of Fine Arts program for actors and directors dedicated to a deep investigation of the human condition through theatre training that is rigorous, technically demanding, and which pushes the boundaries of creative and imaginative expression; a program which encourages a dynamic sense of exploration, collaboration, and openness. 

The current administration and faculty acknowledge that the program has not always been a safe space for teaching and learning, which has caused harm to students, faculty, and staff whose life experiences are larger in expanse than the narrow lens of history- and our own scope of learning and practice- has allowed. 

We take responsibility for the very necessity of this document in our program.

Brown/Trinity Rep is a program housed within two institutions.  We acknowledge that the founders of Brown University participated in and benefitted from the violence of the transatlantic slave trade and disrupted Indigenous tribal connections to the land on which it now sits, and that the organizational structure of the University itself, as created and sustained for many years, has perpetrated systems of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.  Brown/Trinity acknowledges that Trinity Rep has been a historically white institution, with an organizational structure that has also perpetrated systems of anti-Black racism within its sphere as a cultural institution.  Like many cultural institutions, it is in the process of coming to terms with its legacy of white, male-identified, heteronormative, cisgendered storytelling practices and repairing the harm these practices have caused.  

Brown/Trinity has inherited and perpetuated oppressive structures and practices from both institutions.  

We commit to shattering that paradigm.

We commit to decentralizing whiteness and white supremacy in our spaces, curriculum, and practices.

We commit to prioritizing the fostering and sustaining of anti-racist and healthy community, creative, and learning spaces in our program.

We commit to actively creating safe spaces for teaching, learning, and creative practice, and to acknowledging and repairing harm when it inevitably occurs.

We commit to preparing artists who will be leaders in the field, who will make and lead spaces that are actively and joyfully anti-racist.

Towards creating greater public accountability, please find yearly updates on our ongoing work below.  


In 2022/23, Brown/ Trinity's EDIA Committee, made up of faculty, staff, and students, prioritized implementation of Community Care:  Pathways for Clear Communication, Redress, and Repair at Brown/ Trinity Rep.  Created in 2021/22 by the program's EDIA Committee and offered to the full community for review, this internal resource document exists in two parts.  The first outlines tools for harm prevention in the program's spaces.  The second outlines and clarifies all existing pathways for resolution, redress, and repair.

At the center of this work was the intention set within the program's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan:  Brown/ Trinity Rep will deepen its commitment to and practice of its core values of inclusion by creating pathways towards accountability for all of its stated goals.  This document aimed to provide detailed measures towards that accountability through best practices.

A workshop to onboard all constituents to this new information at the top of the academic year and to implement the best practices outlined in Community Care was held during Orientation Week for all students and faculty.

In the spring semester, Brown/ Trinity's EDIA Committee solicited feedback about the document's usage in a Community Meeting, and held a second skills-based workshop with faculty, students, and staff.

Brown/ Trinity's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan articulates the following goals, which will be prioritized in 21/22:



We acknowledge the critical need to center and prioritize community care in our art form broadly and in our training program specifically. All artists must have the ability to work at full emotional, mental, and physical capacity with the knowledge that the institution structurally supports the ability of each artist to do so.  Brown/Trinity must create a systemwide acknowledgement of, and language and process for, accountability, repair, and reconciliation, centering care for each member of the community by addressing harm when it happens and creating systems of repair.  This work will require best-practices research, alumni consultation, student and faculty training, and synthesis of findings.  Emphasis throughout should be placed on communication about the process with all constituent groups.

In Fall '21, we will research current and emergent practices as well as utilize resources from Brown’s Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity as University partners.  Updates on the work will be offered at our program’s monthly community meetings, with a goal of completion and full implementation by semester’s end.

The Director and Department Heads will continue to develop a structure for onboarding new faculty and students to processes and practices of harm reduction and harm repair.

In individual courses, faculty must take into consideration where gaps exist in curricular experience and work towards acknowledging how to move forward with care and reduce harm.

Faculty and students will continue to examine and implement consent-based theater practices in our studios and rehearsal/ performance spaces.  Administration will support and cultivate this work as possible with additional training from industry leaders in this field.



Brown/Trinity’s faculty and administration acknowledges that our program is operating with a significant and ongoing deficit in preparedness and cultural fluency with regard to the curriculum and materials offered in the program.  Our faculty must make the same commitment that our students have; to work internally to deepen and strengthen individual cultural competency and learning, and to work structurally to undo white supremacist, heteronormative, and ableist practices embedded in our curriculum.  

We commit to the ongoing process of creating curricular spaces in which all students inhabiting our spaces see themselves reflected in the material and are able to learn.  

Instructors should broaden the context for the curriculum in courses currently offered and the methods by which that material is taught. Instructors should also broaden their knowledge of the field of work in which they are engaged and literate.

Faculty must acknowledge that their own experiential understanding of the material taught may be different than the experiential understanding of students with different identities. 

Faculty must work to deepen their own analysis around all current curricular offerings, considering where the material meets the students, and where gaps exist.

Instructors must read and research material/ plays that students bring in to work on in any course.

Faculty must purposefully investigate and incorporate practices and practitioners outside of the white, western European canon. 

Instructors must learn the foundations of trauma-informed/ trauma-sensitive pedagogy, which requires a keen awareness of our students' past and present experiences and the effects of those experiences on students' well-being.

Instructors should be mindful to feature work of underrepresented artists that concern a range of narratives, not exclusively those of trauma and suffering.

Undo.  Re-learn.  Center community.


With gratitude to We See You White American Theatre and to our Brown/ Trinity Rep alumni who began this conversation with us several years ago, we acknowledge the labor that artists, administrators, and students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have undergone in the call for dismantling the structures of white supremacy that exist in theatrical institutions and training programs in this country.  The demands issued by weseeyou this summer were an act of tremendous generosity, and we regard them as such.  We acknowledge and uplift in particular the voices of our alumni in this ongoing work.

We acknowledge the deep civil unrest in this moment of global pandemic, and in particular the ongoing anti-Black racism that has been laid bare in our country, our communities, our families.  That we were offered the gift of weseeyou’s demands in this time is extraordinary.

Brown/ Trinity acknowledges explicitly that we ourselves operate within a culture dominated by structures of discrimination, and that doing so has caused harm in our community- in particular, to our BIPOC students and faculty members.  Brown/ Trinity commits without equivocation to continue to develop a program centered in anti-racist policies and practices, and to foster and sustain a culture that values community, social justice, and equity. We believe these are essential components of our- of any- professional training program.

We re-commit to ongoing inter-community and public transparency and accountability in our anti-racist work.  In that spirit, we communicate our ongoing commitments and actions below:

This fall, a committee of Brown/ Trinity faculty, staff, and students are undertaking a review and revision of our departmental Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.  Our examination will include but not be limited to continuing to develop and deepen our analysis and policies for curricular development, hiring and retention, admissions practices, and ongoing training. The revised plan will be presented to the community for a reading and comment period, and feedback will be incorporated into the plan before its submission to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity for review and approval.  Once approved, the plan will be made available on our departmental website.  Updated progress reports on the goals in this action plan will be made available on our website each semester.

We commit to continuing to deepen our own learning as a community, building on the work our faculty, staff, and students have done in recent years to increase our cultural competency.  Trainings this summer and fall include Nicole Brewer’s Anti-Racist Theater:  A Foundational Course, developing each participant’s personal anti-racist theater pedagogy. First-year students are now onboarded with work around identity, privilege, power, and intersectionality with Brown’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, and the Office has also developed and will lead an all-community workshop centered on communication, harm reduction, and harm repair.  And we have the privilege of an all-community workshop beginning some work with us on Indigenous theater practices- a noticeable lack in our curriculum.  We will as always continue to source desires for continued trainings from our community.

We continue our yearly valued partnership with Brown’s Department of Africana Studies/ Rites and Reason Theatre.  This year’s partnership will include a virtual production of a play by one of our third-year MFA students.

We assert our belief that an ongoing deep conversation with its community is a vital part of what makes a vibrant artistic organization.  Brown/ Trinity Rep will continue to partner with local programs and organizations such as Rhode Island Latino ArtsThe Manton Avenue Project, and Trinity Rep’s America Too to create opportunities for students to make work with our Rhode Island community outside of our studios and performance spaces. 

Brown/ Trinity continues to offer its matriculating actors and directors full tuition scholarships as well as full health and dental insurance.  Directors are provided with full funding through teaching assistantships, and actors with demonstrated financial need are offered need-based partial living stipends.  In addition, Brown has made additional technical support available to its students during this time of hybrid learning; emergency funding is also available to all graduate students through the Graduate School.

Brown/ Trinity asserts that Affinity and Aspiring Ally spaces empower the individual and collective voices in our community, and are a component of a healthy community that is central to our organizational mission.  We will continue to provide ongoing structural support for all Affinity/ Ally spaces requested by our students.

We affirm and recognize that the industry we have learned to operate within has created a scarcity mentality in which the artist’s health is prioritized last, or not at all.  We commit in this time of pause to take the time to slow down, to re-examine and re-connect with the essentials of our practices, curriculum, and production- deepening the learning rather than continuing to widen the expanse of what we require of ourselves and of each other.  This investigation will be critical as we re-imagine the structure and necessary components of our training program, vitally empowering artists who will continue to meaningfully impact the future of our field and the communities in which they live and work.

We offer the above with gratitude, humility, and great and abiding hope for our work together.