Went to my first Devoted and Disgruntled this weekend. Absolutely inspiring. Met a lot of people who are passionate about where theatre’s going and also felt that 17percent is something that needs to happen. Now. I’ll definitely go along next year – I’m putting it in my diary now – thanks Improbable.
I convened a session to find out people’s views why it is such a low percentage of women’s plays that make it onto the stage – and there were various views. I also went along to a session on ‘What kind of women aren’t we seeing on stage?’, which opened up the question of whether women are writing more roles for men, and if they are, why this might be. To find out the answers to these questions and more come along to the launch events – 11 + 12 March 2010, 6.30pm, at The Red Hedgehog, Highgate.
My only bugbear was that no men came to my session to add to the discussion. Perhaps I phrased the question badly and made it seem like I was going to give any male contributors a hard time. Although 17percent exists to promote and support female writers (as they are underrepresented on British stages, and there are no other UK organisations specifically doing this,) the organisation is not against male writers or men.
It is vital that men are involved in the quest for gender equality in the arts – from a purely practical point of view, many men are the ones in the top positions who we should be working with – not working against. I set up 17percent to make a change, but I can’t make that change on my own; I need help and support from women AND men. So please, let’s start thinking of it as a conversation, not a competition.