Equal Stages

WHAT NOW? Beyond diversity & inclusion

Equal Stages is an evolving programme to bridge performance and diversity, finding different and exciting platforms to champion the known/unknown legacy of black/PoC/under-represented performing arts & culture and contemporary talent, to encourage and celebrate their creativity, to discover and educate new audiences.

We explore performance, videos, exhibitions, workshops, conferences and books to promote diverse theatre and creative arts. Our projects develop linking contemporary performing arts and culture with historical context, the notion of ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’.

Bringing this together – including the ‘digital glue’ our remote collaboration models Equal Stages Digital and Equal Stages Global – allows us to share, test and develop the following areas:

  • create & widen sustainable opportunities for black/PoC/under-represented creative talent
  • facilitate inter-connectedness between creative sectors
  • research and build connections and collaborations between today’s performing arts/culture practitioners and those in other sectors.
  • decompress arts and culture echo chambers, amplify diverse voices.—inspire disengaged audiences, spark participation outside of traditional converts
  • facilitate inter-generational dialogue and collaborations
  • address long-term frustrations to change by shortcircuiting hierarchical systems by setting up direct interaction of talent with establishment institutions
  • actively reach out to all regions in England, focus on talent and audiences in the North
  • share our model as a means to inspire others to further this work.


Nick Awde is a cultural producer and arts diversity writer, founder of the Other National Theatre (promoting excluded creatives) and co-director of the Alhambra Theatre, in Morecambe’s West End (LSOA rank 210). He worked for many years for the Black British press (The Voice, Weekly Journal, Pride Magazine) and now works to make international theatre connections for local and marginalised communities.

Isabel Appio is a content curator and creative media publisher championing under-represented groups particularly women and young BPoC people. She worked in the pioneering Black British press, was editorial director of the Voice Media Group — founding Britain’s first Black broadsheet, the award-winning Weekly Journal, later founding BHM (Black History Month) magazine, now updated to Reboot History (Sharing BHM Knowledge), and International Women’s Month magazine. Projects include: Many Rivers to Cross, book on Windrush NHS contribution, & #coworkingforall network for inclusion in the creative & start-up sectors.

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