Cultural Competency

in performance – (v.) Actionable steps toward building accountable, justice-centered and anti-racist performance processes, centering impact over intent in our storytelling, and curating an industry that actively opposes ableism, cissexism, erotophobia, anti-blackness and all other systems used by white supremacy culture to oppress us.

What is a
Cultural Competency Specialist?

The Cultural Competency Professional supports performers, designers, and the technical team and creative team in the curation of anti-racist and cultural competent performance processes. They achieve this by combining the tools of dramaturgy in pre-production and conceptualization with the tools of consent-based performance to educate on the relevant cultural themes present within the show, to advocate for the embodied experiences of the performers and to maintain the history and integrity of the communities represented in the show. This, all the while supporting the production in curating active, accountable, and anti-racist practices during the rehearsal and performance processes.

The role supports the curation of content warnings and works alongside intimacy professionals, directors, writers, designers and other members of the creative team to put on productions that consider the full breadth of what we are asking Global Majority artists and audiences to consent to when we choose to tell the stories of their experiences.

What type of projects require a
Cultural Competency Specialist?

Short answer?
All creative projects, especially those that tackle the experiences of underrepresented communities or that include members of the global majority in their cast, creative teams or crews, could benefit from a cultural competency professional.

Long Answer.
Projects that tackle stories specifically related to:

  • Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
  • the Queer and Trans* community
  • the Kink / BDSM community
  • Religious Groups, especially religious minority groups
  • Tellings and/or retellings of mythology, historical events, or oral traditions

… as well as any stories depicting other traditionally dehumanized populations in our culture.

Essentially, any production that asks an actor, especially an actor who is a member of the global majority, to draw on their own identity or the experiences of another global majority group in order to tell the story.

…on my Cultural Competency work for HAIR

The cast of HAIR from the University of Michigan’s Department of Musical Theatre would like to express our deepest gratitude for the opportunity to work with Chelsey Morgan as our Cultural Sensitivity Coach. In leading by example, Chelsey showed us how to advocate for our needs and how to hold space for difficult topics. Their dedication to meeting everyone where they were at created a space of patience and grace that we are so excited to uphold further.
BIPOC cast members were welcomed into a space to speak about how the text affects them on micro and macro levels. Additionally, they were able to exist in community with each other, which was extremely meaningful across the board. Our white cast members voiced that they appreciated this experience as an exercise in listening and appreciated that the production was prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the very start of the process.

University of Michigan | Department of Musical Theatre

Interested in working together?

To contact me about your project, inquire about a cultural competency workshop, or to book a consultation about this work, feel free send me an email at

Has harm already occurred in your production?

I offer consultation on building grievance procedures, accountability practices, responses to
existing trauma and harm, restoration and full production accountability audits for
spaces looking to build culturally competent and consent-based models for their future.

Send me an email with the subject line: “Accountability Specialist”

Then, we can speak on the ways in which we can use the tools of transformative justice
and restoration to support your production in your quest to rebuild trust in a space where it has been broken.
See my Grievance Policy as an example.