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Our Story

Statement of Purpose


We were founded by actor-vist Alicia "Lisa Young", (a Black Woman who is a stroke survivor), in May 2020 after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless other Black people.  In 2020, as we considered the impact of COVID-19, and the mobilization and out-cry for justice from people supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, we also asked ourselves "What are we prepared to do to dismantle racism, anti-Blackness and inequalities in theatre?"   

We are a grassroots outreach organization providing activism,  resources, and accountability for the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) in theaters to our members.  We serve our membership of individuals, companies, and communities by granting IDEAs designations to organizations which fulfill guiding principles - called Pillars of Inclusion - within their policy and infrastructure. We are Change Agents, who are making demonstrable advancements, real and effective.

Meet the Start-Up Team

Headshot of GerRee Hinshaw

IDEAs is an urgent, grassroots response from the performance art community to change our world together and save lives through art. How can we not say yes?

"That is what is encouraging to me, seeing people move past, 'Is this a big deal?' to 'What is the best way to tackle it?'"

-Ijeoma Oluo

Headshot of Ilasiea Gray

Ilasiea joined IDEA’s because she would like to see theatre spaces proud to be making meaningful strides in the work of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility.  


"When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else."

- Toni Morrison

Smiling headshot of Lisa Young

Lisa founded IDEAs when she realized COVID-19 was thought to be more dangerous to art than it's history of systemic racism and discriminatory practices.


"The Child  who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth"

African Proverb


Lisa Young, Founder

Headshot of Marisa Hebert

Marisa joined IDEA’s because she was looking for an actionable way to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” IDEA’s has given her that way.

“We need to be weapons of mass construction, weapons of mass love. It’s not enough just to change the system. We need to change ourselves.”

- Assata Shakur


Marisa D. Hebert

Smiling Headshot of Regan Linton

Regan joined IDEAs to center artists who have been historically underrepresented and systematically marginalized in the theatre community.


"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear."

- Toni Morrison

Smiling Headshot of Caitlin Lowans

Caitlin believes theatre should show us the world not only as it is, but as we would have it be. Proud to serve alongside these strong people and leaders furthering justice and liberation for EVERYONE.


"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will."

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Headshot of Mare Trevathan

Mare joined IDEAs because she wants to live, work, and create in a vibrant and equitable community. She's here to "fail forward", and support her inspiring colleagues.


"When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up."

- John Lewis


Mare Trevathan

steering & endorsement

The operational arm. Responsible for the establishment and evolution of guiding principles and responsible for the endorsing of organizations who hold active plans in good standing with their stakeholders and communities.

alliance & Resource

The services arm. A coalition of member organizations and theater makers who serve as resources for one another and establish and share resources with the community in advancing IDEAs goals.

accountability & Action

The activation arm. Communities, audiences and industry professionals deeply invested in promoting awareness of IDEAs principles, who use their voices to create change and steady improvement of the industry's embodiment of the principles.