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About
Theatre

Advocacy

Project

Our Mission: To create safe and equitable working conditions for all theatre professionals. 

Our Vision: A future where all theatre professionals are safe from discrimination, harassment, and abuse, allowing for the advancement of braver, more collaborative, and exploratory art-making.

At Theatre Advocacy Project, we've created a system of accountability within the theatre industry to support artists, administrators, and organizations, offering a more satisfactory working experience for all. 

What started as a research project inspired by first-hand experiences, turned into an opportunity to create meaningful and measurable change. Through our suite of HR and equity, diversity, and inclusion tools, we empower professional theatre leaders to create safer and more equitable work environments for artists and administrators. We help organizations measure the current satisfaction and knowledgeability levels of their contracted and full-time staff in regards to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and anti-harassment, and use this to create impact-based accountability. 

Based on our research, 85% of professional theatres across the country do not have a formalized HR system in place. Conversely, only 35% of performers reported that they had not experienced workplace abuse, and only 6% had access to a resource for safely reporting their experience. Read our full Industry Report to understand the extent of the realities  theatre professionals are facing today.

Read our 2020-2021 Industry Report

Interested in learning more about our research and seeing how our team can support you?

Who we are

Caylin is CEO and Co-Founder of Theatre Advocacy Project. Caylin began her professional career as a working artist. After a first hand experience, she was driven to help create a structure that would mutually benefit both performers and theatres. Caylin is currently working on an MA in Performing Arts Administration at NYU. In addition to her performance background, she has experience in marketing, development, and education.

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Meet the Team

Caylin Waller (she/her) M.A. is Executive Director and Co-founder of TAP. She is an artist, activist, and award-winning scholar and entrepreneur. Her original research titled Creating Accountability in American Theatre, was selected winner of the NYU Steinhardt 9th Annual Research & Scholarship Showcase. This work also earned her the title of Distinguished Graduate for outstanding contributions to the field of the arts from NYU Steinhardt's M.A. Performing Arts Administration program. Caylin speaks regularly on her industry research and startup knowledge. She was a featured panelist at the 2022 NYU event titled Curtain Up: Spotlight on Financial and Social Sustainability for the Performing Arts, as well as the NYU Entrepreneurial Festival event Women Entrepreneurs Responding to Pressing Needs. She was a 2022 grant recipient of the Mark & Debra Leslie Fellows grant through the NYU Female Founders Fellowship program. 

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Colette Gregory (she/her) M.Ed, M.A. is Chief Learning Officer and Co-Founder of Theatre Advocacy Project. She is an award-winning writer, comedian, and cultural sensitivity consultant. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre Production from Northwestern University, as well as a Master of Arts and Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University–New York. She has over a decade of experience working in administration for several of the country’s foremost theatres. She is also an adjunct professor at The Theatre School at DePaul University and an independent diversity and inclusion consultant. Colette has performed on The Second City Mainstage, toured to colleges and military bases throughout the country using humor to teach sexual assault prevention with Catharsis Productions, and produces SHADE: An Actually Diverse Comedy Show at the world-famous Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Meet the Board

Bliss Griffin (she/her) JD, MBA (Diversity & Inclusion Strategy) is the principal of BG
Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in building best people practices within the theatre industry. A former actor and creative, Bliss wields an unmatched depth of knowledge about the culture and creation of theatre and its intersection with
strategically sound and legally compliant employee-related business practice. As the head of the Diversity & Inclusion department, she drove significant and meaningful change at the Actors’ Equity Association and is grateful to continue uplifting theatre workers through BG Consulting and volunteerism on the Board of Directors for the Theatre Advocacy Project and as a Founder of the Harriet Tubman Effect Institute. BGCs offer workshops and trainings, leadership coaching, keynote addresses, and policy/operations audits, and its clientele include educational institutions (Columbia University, Pace University), professional membership organizations (Educational Theatre Association, Broadway Teaching Group), and social justice organizations (Black Theatre Coalition), as well as producing employers. Learn more at www.BlissGriffin.com.

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Board Secretary Courtney Allison (she/hers) is the Chief Academic Officer at EdReports. She leads the organization’s efforts to create educator-led, evidence-rich reviews in K-12 mathematics and English Language Arts, and Science. In her role, she also helps shape broader organizational strategy and direction particularly around academic endeavors and new opportunities. Courtney has over 20 years of experience working in education and spent 15 years as part of the New York City Department of Education, where she was a middle school mathematics teacher, school leader, professional developer, and finally served as the Chief of Staff for the Division of Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining EdReports, Courtney was the Deputy Executive Director of Math for America (MƒA). In all her roles, Courtney strives to ensure the work of teachers informs broader policy and decision making. Courtney holds a B.A. in Education from Smith College, an MSEd. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a MSEd. in Educational Leadership from Baruch College. She is the co-author of “The Soup Club Cookbook” and enjoys encouraging people to share food as a way to build community. Courtney lives in NYC where she is a proud NYC public school parent and an unapologetic cat-person. 

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Board Vice President Crystal Williams (she/her) Director of Marketing at Madison Energy Investments, drives the promotion of distributed clean energy generation across the U.S. Previously, she successfully managed marketing and community relations for Whole Foods Market Southeast. Beyond her corporate position, Crystal is a seasoned marketing strategist, artist, writer, and business owner. With nearly a decade of experience at the intersection of arts and communication, she excels in scaling programs and skillfully crafting stories that engage and captivate audiences. Not confined to her marketing career, Crystal engages in artistic ventures behind the camera, on the stage, and beyond. Her repertoire includes choreographing stage productions like Aladdin, 9 to 5: The Musical, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and The Addams Family. She also shines as a star in House of June's acclaimed productions, The Grey Area and Q & A, and has delivered captivating performances in stage plays like Oliver and Stages. Crystal's creative journey embarked with studies in photojournalism and digital media, which later expanded into culinary arts. She graduated with honors from Le Cordon Bleu and the Escuela de International de Cocina, achieving recognition as a Les Dames Escoffier and Cutting Edge Scholar. In her treasured spare moments, Crystal perfects coq au vin, actively gives back to her community, and serves as a candid editor for her sister's upcoming poetry book, "The Bindings: The Girl with Cerebral Palsy and the Experiences that Hold Me Together." Amidst it all, she remains committed to never missing a single sunset.

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Board President Karmen Paley (she/her, they/them) is a non-binary multi-hyphenate working to inspire a more compassionate understanding of humanity. They studied acting and directing at the University of Southern California and British American Drama Academy and they currently serve on the TGNC Advisory Committee for Ring of Keys, an artist service organization that fosters community and visibility for musical theatre artists - onstage and off - who self-identify as queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists. Karmen has worked as a teaching artist with Stages on the Sound, Ensemble Theatre Company, and the Young People’s Center for the Creative Arts. Additionally, they’ve served as a gender consultant  for casts and creative teams from regional houses to Broadway. They also star in Core Ensemble's annual tour of Equally Divine, a solo chamber musical about the Mona Lisa that celebrates gender and sexual fluidity. Paired with a performance of the show, Karmen engages audiences in post-show talkbacks about gender expansiveness. Karmen has acted with the Ivoryton Playhouse, Post Playhouse, the Secret Theatre and more. As a director, Karmen is lucky to have worked with companies such as the Transport Group, National Asian American Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, and the American Theatre of Actors. 

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Board Treasurer Stephanie Alvarado Prugh (she/her) is a NYC based Dramaturg and Producer. She currently co-produces the famed Lyrics & Lyricists series for the 92nd Street Y, New York. Recent dramaturgical works include the award-winning newly revised The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Transport Group, The Muny, Denver Center Theatre Company), and the award-winning new musical, Renascence (Transport Group). Regional Credits include The Glass Menagerie, The Secret Garden and Twelve (Denver Center Theatre Company), Blueprints to Freedom, Indecent, and Guards at the Taj (La Jolla Playhouse) Stephanie holds a PhD in Theatre from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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