Code of Conduct

Statement of Purpose:

Mad Cowford Improv Comedy believes that improvisation is an art form built on trust, respect, and empathy. Every improvisor has the right to feel safe and respected while practicing this art. Every person should observe these standards to create a fun, creative atmosphere. As with any type of theatre, improv can be used to challenge, criticize, explore boundaries, and take risks. To allow these risks, open communication is encouraged and no person should feel harassed or placed in a situation which does not make them look good.

For these reasons, Mad Cowford Improv Comedy has established the following code of conduct.

Behavior and Conduct:

  1. Practice kindness, respect, and tolerance for one another at all times.
  2. Treat all cast, crew, audience, and students with respect and consideration.
  3. Keep things neat and clean and pick up after yourself.
  4. Strive to create intelligent art. Comedy often, and should, involve challenging subjects such as politics, religion, relationships, and sex. These subjects should be approached with wit, satire, irony and savvy. Blatant expressions of racism, sexism, misogyny, or similar concepts are unacceptable. Aside from being needlessly offensive, it is also not funny. Profanity, while sometimes appropriate, should be used sparingly. Elevate above the crude where we can. 
  5. Commit to creating an environment free of harassment and discrimination, including on the grounds of age, sex, race, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance, religion, and disability.

Drug and Alcohol Policy:

  1. Use or possession of illegal drugs in or around the class area are strictly forbidden. Failure to adhere to this policy shall result in dismissal from classes.
  2. Any cast member creating an unsafe risk for themselves or others or lacks the capacity to perform due to impairment or intoxication shall be removed from a cast. Similarly, any student who attends a class and creates a risk to themselves or others, or lacks the ability to participate and engage appropriately due to impairment or intoxication shall be removed from a class. 

Sexual Harassment Policy:

  1. Sexual harassment shall not be tolerated, and reports will be investigated. Sexual harassment can include sexually related comments about a person’s physical appearance, unwelcome physical contact, suggestive or offensive remarks or innuendoes, propositions, verbal abuse of a sexual or gender relation, leering or voyeurism, bragging about sexual prowess or history, offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature of an employee or client, display of sexually offensive pictures or materials, or demands of dates or sexual favors.
  2. Any person experiencing sexual harassment should report the harassment to a class instructor, or officer of the corporation. If a student believes he or she is being harassed by an instructor or player, the student should notify the Director or Assistant Director. Online anonymous complaints can be made HERE.
  3. Every person who is in a position of influence or authority shall take care that they do not use their position improperly. No person in a position to grant or deny a benefit to another shall abuse their position to solicit another, gain favors, or make unwanted advances. No person shall predicate consideration for casting, or other preferential treatment on any prurient motive.
  4. To provide a place for reporting allegations, including reporting anonymously, Mad Cowford Improv has set up an anonymous reporting form. This form can be accessed HERE
  5. Credible allegations can result in counseling, reprimand, or dismissal of a student or member. The appropriate remedy shall be determined by considering the type and duration of the conduct involved, any power imbalance between the harasser and the reporting person, repeated violations, the wishes of the reporting person, and any other relevant consideration.
  6. Coaches, directors, or managers who observe or become aware of harassment are required to take efforts to address the harassment, including if necessary dismissing a student, client, or performer. 
  7. We acknowledge that in theatre, performances and scenes can involve intimate moments, including physical contact, signs of affection, and expressed truths. These can make many people uncomfortable, and can be unwelcome. In building trust with other performers, players should discuss their personal boundaries with each other, and communication is encouraged whenever a boundary has been arguably reached or passed. No performer should take advantage of the performing bond of trust by doing something onstage which he/she knows is unwelcome offstage.

Safety:

  1. Theatre can be physical, but respect everyone’s space and physical abilities. Do not do something which could injure a fellow student. Make sure a fellow performer is prepared before making a physical move which involves lifting, jumping, carrying, catching, or physical contact.

Attendance:

  1. Students should arrive on time to derive the full benefit of the class. If a student must miss a class, or will be late, it is courtesy to inform the instructor so the instructor may begin the class promptly.