1945 Code of Ethics for Theatre Workers
Equity member Kathleen Freeman died of lung cancer in August, 2001 while she was appearing on Broadway in her Tony-nominated role of Jeanette in The Full Monty. Equity Councillor Jane A. Johnston, a longtime friend, was executrix for Ms. Freemans estate. Among Ms. Freemans papers she discovered a yellowed document containing A Code of Ethics for Theatre Workers. Ms. Freeman was a daughter of a small time vaudevillian team and it was her childhood experience of touring with her parents from which this Code of Ethics sprung, Ms. Johnston writes. She also notes: What is particularly interesting about this list of dos and donts for the theatre is that it was written in 1945 when Kathleen was establishing one of the first small theatres in Los Angeles and she was 24 years old. I wish I had been told some of the rules when I was a young actress instead of having to pick them up as I went along.
Foreword to the Code
A part of the great tradition of the theatre is the code of ethics which belong to every worker in the theatre. This code is not a superstition, nor a dogma, nor a ritual which is enforced by tribunals; it is an attitude toward your vocation, your fellow workers, your audiences and yourself. It is a kind of self-discipline which does not rob you of your invaluable individualism.
Those of you who have been in show business know the full connotation of these precepts. Those of you who are new to show business will soon learn. The Circle Players, since its founding in 1945, has always striven to stand for the finest in theatre, and it will continue to do so. Therefore, it is with the sincere purpose of continued dedication to the great traditions of the theatre that these items are here presented.
The rules follow: