Use of Submission Data


The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and don’t necessarily reflect those of Highwire Improv. We hope you enjoy reading!

October 9, 2020

Note: this blog post has been codified into a policy page, and the most up-to-date version of the Use of Submission Policy appears on the Policies page. This blog post is being kept up for archival purposes.

Recently we got some helpful feedback that it was unclear how we might use the data requested in our Show Submission form – specifically the names and identity groups of cast members.

Two of Highwire Improv’s core values are transparency and action – in the interest of both we wanted to immediately add this post detailing why we ask for this information and how we expect to use it. If that changes, we’ll update this page (see the table at the bottom).

Why We Ask For Identifying Information

In our Show Submission form, we ask groups to list the names of their team members, as well as share whether any of those members are part of identity groups that are marginalized or underrepresented in improv (including, but not limited to gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, neurodiversity, disability, and/or sexual orientation).

We ask for names for a few reasons:

  1. To help make sure we don’t book an individual on multiple shows back to back without confirming.
  2. To ensure teams are roughly who they say they are – especially if we implement a lottery system for performance time in the future, this will keep things fair.
  3. To keep track of how many total unique performers we have each season (and to try to grow that number).

We ask for identity group information for a few reasons:

  1. To communicate that we welcome performers from all backgrounds and specifically aim to elevate the artistic voices of diverse groups.
  2. To help make sure we schedule effectively – providing opportunities for troupes of similar backgrounds to perform together and highlight those groups to the audience and community.
  3. To keep track of how many performers from different identity groups join us each season (and to try to improve to be more representative of, in particular, the Baltimore community).

Highwire Improv will never publicly state any individual’s identity information – that is for the individual to decide, always. We’ve updated our submission form to clarify that providing individual information is not required or requested, and we’ll review this language again before our next season.

We may (honestly, we don’t know yet, it’s early!) share aggregated information (e.g X% of our performers this season were female) with the community and/or in grant proposals, in effort to continue to make improv a more accessible and inclusive art form. To reiterate, that will never include individually identifying anyone’s background.

If you have feedback about how we’re handling this or have suggestions – we want feedback! You can always email us at and it is on our organizational roadmap to implement easier anonymous feedback paths as well.

VersionAuthorDateChanges Made
1.0Barry Wright10/9/2020Initial version – details of name and identity group data usage.