Mad Cow Theatre and DEI: Looking Back

Mad Cow Theatre and DEI: Looking Back

In order to move forward with our DEI work, it is important to look back at Mad Cow Theatre’s history with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Historically it has been Mad Cow Theatre’s mission to produce highly entertaining works of theatre to an ever-widening audience – promoting, enhancing, and celebrating the human condition through art. From the beginning, our intention has been to include all facets of the human condition… but we acknowledge that our actions have not always lived up to our intentions. We must take ownership of our shortcomings in the past and strive to be better allies in the future.  Please continue reading below to learn more about Mad Cow Theatre’s journey with diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Shows from Past Seasons Highlighting the Stories of Those Traditionally Underrepresented in Live Theatre:

1997-1998
Master Harold … and the Boys

2001-2002
The Laramie Project

2003-2004
Yellowman

2005-2006
A Lesson Before Dying; Stop Kiss

2007-2008
I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given To Me By a Young Lady From Rwanda
Life is a Dream (La Vida Es Sueño)
Sonnets for an Old Century; Elliot, a 
Soldier’s Fugue

2008-2009
Molly Sweeney

2009-2010
Top Dog Underdog; Superior Donuts; Staged reading: The Laramie Project; Porgy & Bess - produced with the Orlando Philharmonic 

2011-2012
Next to Normal

2012-2013
Dream Girls

2013-2014
Cock; The Mountain Top

2014-2015
Ain’t Misbehavin; Clybourne Park

2015-2016
The Brothers Size; My Name is Asher Lev

2016-2017
Fences; The Amish Project

2017-2018
Fun Home

2018-2019
Fade

2019-2020
Boseman & Lena

Mad Cow Theatre’s DEI Journey

December 2014
After listening to local Hispanic Artists about the lack of places to work and be an artist, Mad Cow Theatre began the Teatro español project in order to provide Spanish-speaking audiences with professional productions of classic Spanish-language theatre. The project also included free actor-training workshops in Spanish for intermediate and experienced bilingual actors.

 

January 2016
Mad Cow Theatre and Teatro español produce a dramatic reading of Federico García Lorca’s well-loved classic Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), presented entirely in Spanish. 

 

September 2016
Mad Cow Theatre and Teatro español produce another reading of Federico García Lorca’s “rural trilogy,” La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), presented entirely in Spanish.

 

Oct - Dec 2016
Led by actress, director, playwright, and acting teacher Eliana Stratico, Mad Cow Theatre and Teatro español offer “Clases de Teatro,” for Spanish speakers, including an acting training course course and a workshop entitled "Living Text on Stage" exploring texts by authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and Pablo Neruda.

 

February 2017
A reading of the final play from Federico García Lorca’s “rural trilogy,” Yerma, is presented entirely in Spanish by Mad Cow Theatre and Teatro español.

 

Summer 2017
Mad Cow Theatre produces Fences and The Amish Project, during which time both stages were filled with two all Black casts.

 

January 2018
Mad Cow Theatre and Teatro español produce the Federico García Lorca Spanish-language classic, Amor de Don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín (The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden.)

 

March 2018
She Speaks, MCT’s educational programming designed to empower female voices through using acting skills, launches with a workshop for middle-school girls.

 

June 2019
Mad Cow Theatre and the Teatro español produce a bilingual dramatic reading of El Principito (The Little Prince) adapted from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exúpery by Eliana Stratico.

June 2020
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, Mad Cow Theatre releases its statement of support of BLM.

 

June 2020
In its curtain speeches, Mad Cow Theatre begins acknowledging colonialism and honoring the indigenous people on whose lands the theatre now dwells.

 

June 2020
On behalf of Mad Cow Theatre, Executive Director Mitzi Maxwell takes the Joy Jackson Initiative Assessment, a tool designed to help arts organizations build the infrastructure they need to uplift and support marginalized voices.

 

June 2020
The Joy Jackson Initiative holds a live Facebook panel, Town Hall: A Conversation with American Regional Theatres on BIPOC Equity in the Arts; MCT Executive Director, Mitzi Maxwell appears as a panelist.

 

August 2020
MCT presents the first annual Women’s Voices Festival, a celebration of new plays written by female-identifying playwrights and directed by female-identifying directors.

 

August 2020
MCT Executive Director, Mitzi Maxwell, trains in Anti-Racism practices in a course offered by The Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso with the purpose of learning about how MCT can be more active in its anti-racism work.

 

Aug - Oct 2020
In partnership with Black Theatre Girl Magic, Mad Cow Theatre presents THEATRE SPARKS: Plays and Conversations for an Antiracist Tomorrow, a series of digital readings of five short plays by award-winning playwright, Idris Goodwin, with the purpose to spark conversation about race in America for multi-generational audiences.

 

September 2020
Mad Cow Theatre staff members attend Florida Professional Theatre Association’s EDI training, a three session open forum for conversations between producers and artists.

 

October 2020
Mad Cow Theatre staff takes first steps in the process of shifting 20% of programming to social justice issues.

 

November 2020
Mad Cow Theatre Executive Director, Mitzi Maxwell, joins the Orange County Arts Advisory Council’s newly-formed Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which is “dedicated to developing and implementing strategies to increase equal access to funding opportunities to underserved arts organizations led by people of color, and focus on the issue of underrepresentation of diverse groups in the Central Florida arts community.”

November 2020
Mad Cow Theatre begins exploratory discussions on partnering with the non-profit organization the Central Florida Diaper Bank for the purpose of bringing She Speaks programming to their members to offer training in empowerment and employment skills.

 

December 2020
In a continued effort to learn more about the BIPOC artistic community’s concerns and how to be a motivating force in supporting their work, Mad Cow Theatre Executive Director Mitzi Maxwell attends the Central Florida Foundation’s BIPOC Conversation and the BIPOC Seminar offered by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership.

 

January 2021
Mad Cow Theatre nominates Mandi Jo Johns for AIGA Orlando’s High Five Awards, which were created by their Women Lead Initiative Team to celebrate individuals in the community who consistently elevate women and other marginalized peoples.

 

March 2021
In the wake of the deaths of six Asian-American women in the Atlanta shooting, Mad Cow Theatre offers its public statement of support of our Asian community and denouncing the rising racism and violence against Asian-Americans.

 

March 2021
Mad Cow Theatre forms its Education & Social Justice Committee.

 

May 2021
Mad Cow Theatre amends its audition announcement language to ensure that artists of all races, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities know that they are welcome as a part of MCT’s artistic community and that “traditional casting” is a thing of the past.

 

June 2021
Open Scene, a nonprofit organization organized to create unique artistic experiences to connect people through the Arts, offers its first Hispanic Arts Festival, to include in-person events and play readings at Mad Cow Theatre.