Standards of Conduct
The following standards of conduct have been developed with professional organizations, and are approved by management of The PIT. The PIT’s Standards of Conduct apply to all staff including instructors, as well as students and performers. As employees, it is our duty to ensure that The PIT is a place to learn, grow, and practice their craft in an open, non-threatening, creative environment.
This policy will be given to every PIT staff member, instructor, house team member, work study and student at the PIT. It is also posted on our website under “Conduct Policy.”
THE PIT DOES NOT TOLERATE DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) is committed to providing theatrical, educational, and social environments that ensure the equality, dignity, and respect of every PIT staff member, audience member, instructor, performer, work study and student.
In keeping with this commitment, the PIT strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, veteran or military status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.
Further, The PIT is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in our comedy community, and is making active strides to become not just inclusive, but actively anti-racist to reach equity of representation and opportunity in all of our spaces. We understand that we, like so many arts institutions, have a long way to go in this regard, and we hope to collaborate with all members of The PIT community to devise evolving solutions to these ongoing issues.
WHAT ARE HARASSMENT & SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Harassment means unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at the PIT or makes the PIT an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual Harassment means unwelcome written, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors) that has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs at the PIT or makes the PIT an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual Harassment can be verbal (using language of an overtly sexual nature, making sexual comments about a person’s body, making sexual innuendos to a fellow student, artist, or employee, talking or asking about sexual preferences or history, making unwanted advances), non-verbal (looking a person up and down in a suggestive fashion, giving unwanted personal gifts, displaying sexually suggestive visual materials, offensive jokes, gestures, comments, emails, or any social media messaging), or physical (unwanted touching of a person’s clothing, hair, or body, standing close or brushing against a person, giving unwanted massages.)
Sexual harassment also includes sexual assault. No one at the PIT (management, employee, instructor, performer, coach, etc.) may request or require an employee, student, instructor, applicant, performer, or anyone else to submit to sexual harassment as a condition of receiving any benefit such as a raise, promotion, or selection for a performance.
Harassment & Sexual Harassment may be subtle, manipulative, and is not always evident. All forms of gender harassment are included. Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault, which will be reported to authorities.
WHO AND WHERE DOES THIS APPLY TO?
This policy covers conduct that takes place at the Peoples Improv Theater, The PIT Loft, in classes at Simple Studios. This policy applies to every PIT staff member, instructor, performer, work study and student. This policy also pertains to electronic communication.
WHAT ABOUT STANDARDS FOR PERFORMERS ON STAGE OR STUDENTS DURING CLASS?
The PIT theater and school are dedicated to providing an open environment where performers can create original comedy, using life experience as well as new ideas and concepts that are continually being explored. It is the PIT Standard for all performers and students to approach improvisation and writing with respect for their fellow performers and students, both onstage and off. It is important for all to be comfortable, safe, and empowered to speak up if that is not the case.
The PIT has adopted a protocol from FairPlay MN that provides opportunities for open discussions before classes and shows in regards to physical and content boundaries in the classroom and onstage. These guidelines can be found on The PIT’s website, posted backstage at PIT stages, and in the classroom with instructors.
Discrimination towards an individual performer/student or any group of people (i.e. race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, etc) is prohibited. If a performer or student feels uncomfortable in a scene at any time, they should feel empowered to stop it at any time, whether in class, rehearsal, or a performance. The PIT will not permit retaliation against a performer or student who makes such a report in good faith and/or participates in an investigation under this policy
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INSTRUCTORS AND STUDENTS
The PIT values the relationship between instructors and students. Instructors are the main point of contact for students throughout their training and students depend on instructors to provide guidance, support, and evaluations. The relationship between instructors and students must not be threatened by any potential favoritism, conflict of interest, or doubt of intent or fairness.
Therefore, the PIT strictly prohibits instructors from entering into and/or engaging in romantic and/or sexual relationships with a student while the student is enrolled in classes at the PIT. If a relationship between an instructor and a student exists prior to the student’s enrollment in classes at the PIT, the student in an existing relationship with an instructor may not enroll in a class with that instructor. Any exceptions to this policy will be will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, anyone contributing to casting decisions for PIT produced shows or teams must recuse themselves when considering selecting teams, shows or potential performers with whom they are or have been in a romantic and/or sexual relationship.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Nothing in this policy shall attempt to stifle the freedom of expression we each enjoy, or the spirit of improvisation. The PIT invites the creative exploration of content, including content dealing with race, gender, sexuality and other taboo subjects as long as it is done in a creative, intelligent manner without malice, hurtfulness, disrespect or mockery.
However, freedom of expression will not be considered as an excuse for words or actions that may fall under any of the following categories of discrimination, misconduct, harassment, or sexual harassment.
WHO DO I REPORT INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT TO?
There are several avenues for reporting any form of misconduct at The PIT.
- Directly Report to Management via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to report any form of misconduct to PIT Management directly, you may email email@example.com for an incident report form.
- STOPiT: Anonymous Reporting – If you wish to report any form of misconduct anonymously.
- Visit thepit-nyc.com/resources.
The PIT will not retaliate against any person for making a good faith report under this policy. Making a good faith report in no way affects casting for PIT produced teams, or hiring for potential jobs at the PIT including but not limited to instructing at the PIT. Any employee, instructor or performer of the PIT who retaliates against another for utilizing in good faith the procedures in this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or termination of their affiliation with The PIT, as the circumstances warrant.
Please note that if The PIT learns that a crime has been committed, The PIT may be obligated to report that crime to the relevant authorities. Similarly, The PIT will comply with any requests for records or information made in connection with any police investigation as required by law, or with any subpoena issued lawfully in any legal proceeding.