Activism at 20 Stories High

POWER UP: Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Activism

20 Stories High have always been activists and advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion.  

Although we are a culturally diverse organisation – in terms of participants, audiences, artists, staff team and board -, we know that there is always more to learn. 

We are committed to being even better activists as well as allies. 

This means learning, listening and growing as a company, as well as sharing practice, working in partnership with others and speaking truth to power. 

We now put this learning and listening into practice – thinking about how we contribute to making a more equal, fair society. 

POWER UP is a pillar of 20 Stories High, which explores how we can all do better together and how we can be more inclusive practitioners in the arts.  

This page is a small insight into what that looks like in our work. 


We are dedicated to creating art as activism. We make work with and for young people and communities that challenges the status quo and demands a more equitable society. Below are some examples of our work over the past few years. 

  • who the f—k is shakespeare? – A political occupation of Shakespeare’s work. 
  • High Times and Dirty Monsters – An award-winning touring show about the ups and downs of being young and Disabled in Britain.

  • LOOPS A play about Djibi, a young Black man in Liverpool, on the day he gets stopped and searched.

  • Poet’s GiftA public art collaboration with Amina Atiq and Muslim young people to create new writing and poetry around the idea of safe spaces. 

  • Black with a Capital B – 7 short films we commissioned from local young Black artists.

  • Black, Scouse and Proud a short film by Nathan Powell and Black youth theatre members:


  • Touchy, commissioned by the Wellcome Collection, in association with the Unity:

  • Buttercup created by Dorcas Seb, Odile Mukete with 20 Stories High and Tigerlily Films for BBC:

Watch on BBC iPlayer



As an organisation, we engage with a variety of training across the year, delivered by experts to allow us to develop our work as a theatre company with EDIA at our heart. Sessions have included: 

Support and Advocacy

Here are some of the charters and standards we support and adhere to:

POWER UP: Action Plan

Inspired by Inc. Arts’ UNLOCK toolkit, we have created a living breathing Action Plan that all members of staff take accountability for. The action plan has long term and short-term actions for the company to ensure we continue to be the most inclusive and representative organisation we can be. Below is a small snapshot of some of the work currently underway. 

Race equality and Equity 

  • Ensure senior leadership is culturally diverse 
  • Ensuring we work with culturally appropriate artists on all projects 
  • Maintain a robust anti racism policy and guidelines 
  • Work to Halo Code guidelines 

Creative Access 

  • Develop new work with access at its core 
  • Creative access a part of youth theatre shows 
  • Access provision for workshops and all materials in accessible formats 
  • Making our work environment more accessible 


  • Working with CLASSroom to develop class rider 
  • Flexible payment structure to work best for artists 
  • Transparent pay structure 

Positive Bodies 

  • Ensuring office furniture is suitable and inclusive 
  • Ensuring t-shirts are ordered from companies with an inclusive range of sizes 
  • Ensure workshops take into account the access needs of all participants 
  • Ensure costumes are discussed and agreed to be comfortable for all performers

For a full breakdown of our POWER UP Action Plan, please contact amy@20storieshigh.org.uk and we will send you our current document.  

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