Women Centre Stage Forum

Trafalgar Studio 2
February 25th 2020

Following the highly successful Are we at the Tipping Point? Hampstead Theatre Symposium in 2019, Sphinx Theatre joined with University Women in the Arts, the mentoring programme to improve the transition for women studying the arts to working in the arts, and the December Group, a new group of women artists and practitioners working in theatre, for a major forum on Women in Theatre in the UK.

Hosted by Dame Rosemary Squire, co-founder of the Ambassador Theatre Group and Trafalgar Entertainment, the forum brought together for the first time recent research from leading theatre organisations in a panel discussion, followed by a round table conversation with leading practitioners.

Research presented included:

  • What Share of the Cake? A major year long research project from Sphinx Theatre on Women in Theatre, in partnership with Jennifer Tuckett at the University of Cambridge
  • Equity’s recent research with Royal Holloway, University of London, on women and appearance
  • ERA 50:50’s current work on actresses in the UK
  • Stage Directors UK’s recent research on women theatre directors
  • The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s recent research on women playwrights
  • University Women in the Arts’ recent research at the University of Cambridge on how to improve the transition for women from studying the arts to working in the arts.

This panel discussion was followed by a round table conversation with leading practitioners.

Panellists included: Caroline Barth, Creative Learning Director at Derby Theatre; Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Creative Learning Director at Graeae; Gemma Bodinetz, Artistic Director of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse; Kelly Burke, Chair of Equity’s Women’s Committee; Titilola Dawudu, Co-founder of Black Womxn In Theatre; Lesley Gannon, Assistant General Secretary at The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain; Polly Kemp, Co-founder of ERA 50:50; Guleraana Mir, playwright and Executive Director of The Thelmas; Sue Parrish, Artistic Director, Sphinx Theatre; Julia Pascal, the first female director at the National Theatre at the South Bank and playwright; Cassie Raine, Co-founder of PIPA; Paulette Randall , Theatre and Television Director; Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse; Lisa Spirling, Artistic Director of Theatre503; and Jennifer Tuckett, Director, University Women in the Arts.

The event will inform future research and reports, and contributions from panellists will be included list of recommendations to improve gender equality in theatre in the UK which will be published and sent to policymakers, funders and theatres.

Update: for more information on our just released 2021 Women in Theatre Survey please click here. For more information on our 2020 report please click here

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