There are movements in theatre hubs across the world advocating for space for women on and off stage. Los Angeles group The Kilroys champion plays by women, creating an annual list of the best unproduced new works by female and trans* playwrights and call it a tool for producers committed to ending systemic underrepresentation in the American theatre. In Ireland, protest group #WakingTheFeminists pushed for Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre company, to introduce and adhere to gender equality guidelines. It worked. The group continues to be committed to gender parity in theatre across Ireland, and the movement has spread to New York City. In London, Tonic Theatre’s Advance program tasks different performing arts companies each year to proactively explore how they can achieve gender parity within their produced works.
In Australia, actors Lizzie Schebesta, Maryann Wright, Erica Lovell, Matilda Ridgway, Michela Carattini, Ildiko Susany, Libby Munro and financial advisor Julia Newbould are the core team of WITS – Women In Theatre and Screen. Launching the group in urgent response to Darlinghurst Theatre Co’s season, a series of town-hall style meetings open to the industry (initially these meetings were only for women; later, men were invited to attend and participate) were held in 2015. After a shaky beginning, with a narrow view of women’s’ needs that largely favoured white, well-educated women from middle-class backgrounds, the WITS team started to affect change…. READ MORE