Our Story

Pssst. Andrea, you should meet your cast member Royer. She's...a lesbian!

Queer identities have a history of being whispered in our industry. This is, in fact, how we met. But our friendship was born out of a mutual desire to shout our identities from the rooftop. We realized that while we inhabit a professional space that is gay-friendly, queer women and TGNC artists are underrepresented within that space, despite being a huge and vital part of the industry. So, with Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s blessing, we created Ring of Keys in January of 2018. What began as two queer sopranos eating cheese and crackers in a New York City apartment is now a sprawling professional network. Today, Ring of Keys represents 350+ members in 40 U.S. cities, Toronto, and London, as well as hundreds of allies and associated organizations worldwide. Welcome to the Ring. Do you hear our hearts saying hi?

— Andrea Prestinario and Royer Bockus, Co-Founders

andrearoyer

Andrea & Royer

Who We Are

Mission

Ring of Keys is an arts advocacy organization that promotes the hiring of musical theatre professionals - onstage and off - who self-identify as queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists.

The only network of its kind, our membership is made up of actors, directors, dancers, singers, stage managers, lighting designers, dramaturgs, artistic directors, producers, casting directors, librettists, lyricists, composers, props designers, scenic designers, sound designers, choreographers, costume designers, and production managers who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, femme, masc, non-binary, and the diversity of genders that queerness contains. We represent 350+ members in 40 U.S. cities, Toronto, and London. We strive to kick (ball-change) the closet door open to create a vibrant, diverse musical theatre landscape for the future.

What We Do

Vision

Ring of Keys promotes the hiring of self-identifying queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists in the musical theatre industry - primarily our Members and beyond. We elevate the work of our “Keys” (Members) through showcases, our social media platforms, and our monthly newsletter. We provide a visible, supportive community through our initiatives, with a focus on networking events, job-sharing, and monthly meet-ups. Believing that our diversity is an asset that we bring to the industry, we collaborate with arts organizations and community partners to mobilize and advance the musical theatre landscape and queer the stage.

Statement of Inclusion

What queerness means to Ring of Keys:

We support the exploration of the ever-expanding definitions of queerness. Queerness speaks to both gender identity and sexuality without conflating these two identities and can only be determined by an act of self-identification.

What diversity means to Ring of Keys:

We cannot begin to define the ever-changing human experience at all of its intersections; we support and believe in every emerging expression of human identity and welcome your collaboration toward equity for our community.

Key Beliefs

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Solidarity

By standing together, we build intersectional awareness and community within our industry.

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Safety

By prioritizing the full and fearless participation of our Members, we hold space for marginalized voices within our own queer community and beyond.

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Multiplicity

By representing a multitude of intersectional identities, we redefine the meaning and necessity of diversity within our industry.

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Possibility

By elevating queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists in our industry, we give conscious and subconscious permission to all queer artists to elevate themselves.

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Who is telling the stories and what stories are they telling? This is not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be.

Rachel Chavkin