Our theater can uplift, educate, entertain, and provide social change.

We aspire to foster Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA) both on and off stage while utilizing an antiracist practice.

Our lifelong commitment requires each of us to do our part.



Programming – Our commitment to IDEA standards is visible in our play selection, arts education in Chicago Public Schools, playwriting awards and festivals, and our amplification of community partners.  

Accountability – We learn and improve policies using staff & guest artist assessments, patron feedback, and third-party audits, consistently providing equitable pay, and adhering to an antiracist process of theater-making.

Resources – We provide continuing IDEA education to staff, an array of resources to artists & patrons, and financial training to staff and artists.

Transparency – We are committed to open and honest communications and hiring practices, finance & budgeting, and making relevant information available through our website and marketing materials.

Read our Land Acknowledgment and Antiracism Commitment, including statements of solidarity.

We are committed to promoting pay equity and fairness for all of our employees, artists, and independent contractors.

We believe that every individual deserves to be compensated fairly for their contributions.

This policy outlines our lifelong commitment to pay equity.



Objectives – Elimination of Pay Disparities: Ensure that all individuals, regardless of gender, race, or any other protected characteristic, are compensated equitably for similar work and responsibilities within the organization. Transparency: Foster transparency in our compensation practices by providing clear guidelines and procedures for determining pay and communicating these openly to workers. Periodic Review: Conduct regular pay equity assessments to identify and rectify any existing or emerging disparities in compensation.

Guiding Principles – Equal Pay for Equal Work: We provide equal pay for equal work. This means individuals performing similar roles with similar responsibilities receive comparable compensation. Union and non-union workers in the same role receive the same pay rate. Non-Discrimination: We do not discriminate against any individual in terms of pay on the basis of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected characteristic. Fair Wages: All workers receive a minimum of at least $18 an hour for their work. This is above Chicago minimum wage guidelines. We also pay above the unions’ (SDC, AEA, USA) minimum rates for our operating budget. Transparency and Communication: Compensation practices and policies are communicated transparently to all workers, ensuring that they understand how their pay is determined. Regular Review: Pay equity will be assessed regularly to identify and address any disparities. Adjustments will be made as necessary to maintain equitable compensation practices.

Procedures – Job Evaluation: We conduct a systematic job evaluation process to determine the relative value of different positions within the organization. This is used as a basis for determining compensation. Compensation Structure: We have a clear compensation structure that outlines pay ranges for different roles and positions based on the results of the job evaluation process, as well as market research, industry standards, national & local minimum wage guidelines, and union minimum rates. Performance Reviews: For staff members, compensation adjustments will be made as part of the annual performance review process. Audits: Periodic pay equity audits will be conducted to identify any disparities in compensation. If disparities are discovered, corrective actions will be taken promptly. Complaints and Grievances: We have a process in place for addressing complaints and grievances related to pay equity. Workers are encouraged to report any concerns without fear of retaliation.

Additional commitments

  • All workers are paid on time.
  • Work is scheduled within a 40-hour work week to the greatest extent possible.
  • All internship positions are paid or organized through an accredited institution for school credit.
  • Clear rates or ranges of pay are included on all job listings.
  • Union and non-union wages are equal.
  • We provide funds up front for any and all supplies needed within the production or supplies budget.
  • We provide equitable labor support for workers.
  • We maintain an hourly-rate (or hourly-rate equivalent) pay range that is no greater than x5 for all workers within the organization.
  • We are transparent with our annual budget and share the annual budget with the full staff in addition to the board of directors.
  • We center pay equity along with diversity, access, inclusion, other forms of equity, our mission, and other core values in our organization.
  • We have a holistic view of pay equity that encompasses wages, hours worked, and benefits packages.

We are committed to upholding this Pay Equity Policy and to fostering a workplace where all individuals are compensated fairly and equitably for their contributions.

American Blues Theater extends gratitude to Elsa Hiltner and Pay Equity Standards.


Share This
Skip to content