In response to recent events in America, the growing movement #BlackLivesMatter has started important discussions about BAME representation and involvement in theatre, including amateur theatre. As an amateur society with a history spanning 95 years in Colchester, run by a committee of volunteers who, whilst passionate about amateur theatre, are and have historically been mostly white, we have made mistakes. These mistakes have not gone unnoticed and important discussions about them continue to happen. We have learnt from them and choose to continue to learn from them and move forwards. As current chair I am committed to ensuring our society changes with the times and for the better. The society is run by, and for, its members and needs those members to proactively support change. To make meaningful change happen we need people with a drive for change to get more involved. Not just in discussions but in practice, putting the work in, so individuals are not doing jobs and trying to effect change alone. We welcome new members and new committee members. If at any time you want to get involved, support and/or become part of the society please contact us. Our society aims to be inclusive but whilst our members are all unique individuals from a variety of backgrounds, we could always, and want to, do more to ensure our membership is more diverse, in particular more ethnically diverse, and we will continue working towards a better, more inclusive COS.
Katie Cutmore, Chair of Colchester Operatic Society.