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Code of Conduct


This policy covers conduct that takes place at CSz Richmond, the CSz Training Center, and any location performing under Yes Balloon. This policy also pertains to electronic communication, including social media. The persons this policy applies to includes, but is not limited to, CSz Richmond Board member, staff, teaching staff, student, performer, guest performer, and volunteer. 


It is the policy of Yes Balloon, (CSz Richmond), henceforth referred to as “Theater” to maintain a working, performing and learning environment free from sexual, racial, class, nationality, age-based, religious, ethnic, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, body size, and any other form of forbidden harassment of any Theater Board member, staff, teaching staff, student, performer, guest performer, volunteer, and/or audience member. Such harassment in any manner or form is expressly prohibited. Criminal behavior will be reported to proper authorities.


Harassment may be subtle, manipulative, and private, and can affect all genders. CSz  Richmond has several avenues for reporting to protect the dignity of the victim, including the ability to report to non-management staff and/or to management of other CSz affiliates, outside of Richmond. No individual who reports or complains about forbidden harassment, or who assists the Theater in its investigation, will be subjected to retaliation from management, Board of Directors, instructors, or peers. Assault, including sexual assault, may be reported to local authorities. 


The Theater recognizes that, as a comedy theater, the environment is not a typical workplace. Our comedy can sometimes contain topics that might not be appropriate in a regular work environment. We also know that the theater community is a social environment as well as a professional one. Unfortunately, social cues are not precise, and sometimes, they may need a more subtle interpretation than might be expected when compared to a more typical work environment. The Theater expects that with a combination of communication, common sense, respect, and empathy, the community can create an environment that prioritizes safety. 


All reported or reasonably suspected occurrences of forbidden harassment will be investigated (in accordance with the procedures outlined below) in a confidential manner and as promptly and thoroughly as is practicable and necessary. Where forbidden harassment has occurred, the Theater will take appropriate disciplinary, educational, or other corrective action, up to and including termination from a staff or Board position, the loss of ability to perform or be in the audience at the Theater, or the immediate revocation of a student’s ability to take classes at the Theater. 


There will be no retaliation against an individual who has complained about or reported alleged forbidden harassment or who has cooperated with an investigation of alleged forbidden harassment, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.


If you believe someone has violated this code of conduct, please report the issue to one of the following people. Detailed reporting procedures are attached for further clarity.

  1. Your coach, director, or teacher

  2. CSz Richmond Executive Director - JM Pedini -

  3. CSz Richmond DEI Committee -

  4. CSz External Representative - Courtney Pong -

  5. CSz Worldwide DEI Representative - Amelia Fowler, Justin Green -

  6. Player Advocacy for CSz Worldwide - Tey Burke -

  7. Anonymous Report -


All CSz Board members, staff, teaching staff, students, performers, guest performers, and volunteers commit to upholding the following values:

  • I will make space for others to be their full authentic self, including respecting name pronunciation, pronouns, and cultures that differ from my own.

  • I will respect others’ boundaries of consent, and acknowledge that previous consent does not indicate current or future consent. 

  • I will intervene in the face of racial and other prejudice by others at every opportunity.

  • My behavior inside and out of the Theater will reflect Yes Balloon values and support others’ safety and growth.

  • I will see the full humanity of others, in interpersonal activities through CSz Richmond, and including, when applicable to my role, in my performances, including character choice, accent, familial roles, etc. 

  • I will understand my personal biases and actively work to break free of them.

  • I will recognize the value in continuing to grow in improv and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • I will approach constructive criticism with value.

  • I will actively seek to further my skills, as applicable to my role, through trainings, CSz workshops, and practices regularly, as well as engaging with guest instructors, festivals, or other improv organizations’ workshops at least annually.

As regular performers in the Theater (ComedySportz, after hours shows, etc.), we:

  • Will adapt games to support teammates’ strengths and needs.

  • Commit to collectively grow, learn, and improve inclusion.

  • Encourage and support the growth, authenticity, and well-being of our teammates.

  • Will “punch up” our comedy and elevate rather than humiliate or make fun of.

  • Will seek out instructors who present a different worldview or status than our own.


Prevention of Harassment

As a community, we set the standards for appropriate behavior. There should never be a “first time” for harassing behavior, but prompt action from members of our community ensures that there will not be a “second time.” If you witness a potentially harassing incident, call it out in the moment. You have the right to stop any scene, activity, exercise, or show that is mentally or physically unsafe, for yourself, other performers or audience members. You may also discuss the incident directly with the perpetrator, when comfortable. Notify Theater 

management of any potential violation to this policy, so they may document and determine next steps.


“Yes, and” is not a substitute for consent. You do not have to “yes, and” any activity or suggestion that makes you uncomfortable. Your safety is more important than the scene.


Education: Instructors and Students

The relationship between instructors and students must not be threatened by any potential favoritism, conflict of interest, or doubt of intent or fairness. Power dynamics between instructor and student are unavoidable. Therefore, CSz Richmond strictly prohibits instructors from entering into and/or engaging in romantic and/or sexual relationships with a student while the student is enrolled in classes. If an instructor is in an existing relationship with a prospective student, that student must be enrolled in a course taught by a different instructor. Additionally, anyone contributing to casting or promotion decisions must recuse themselves when considering selecting teams, shows, or potential performers with whom they are, or have been, in a romantic and/or sexual relationship or with whom they have a familial relationship. 


Nothing in this policy shall attempt to stifle the freedom of expression we each enjoy, or the spirit of improvisation. CSz Richmond Theater, CSz Training Center and all of Yes Balloon invite the creative exploration of content, including content dealing with race, gender, and sexuality as long as it is done in a creative, intelligent manner without malice, hurtfulness, disrespect or mockery.

However, freedom of expression will not be considered as an excuse for words or actions that may fall under any of the following categories of discrimination, misconduct, harassment, or sexual harassment.

This Code of Conduct gratefully borrowed language from the following organizations: Huge Theater, FairPlay Minneapolis, Washington Improv Theater (WIT), People’s Improv Theater (PIT), Hoopla Theater, Coalition Theater, and the CSz RVA DEI Committee. Thank you for your guidance. 

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