Feminist Theatre – Then & Now

Description automatically generatedFeminist Theatre – Then & Now is published by Supernova Books on Thursday 16 May 2024 (exclusive Book Launch & Discussion with the books’ contributors, as part of Feminist Book Fortnight). Celebrating 50 years of Feminist Theatre and the creativity and flair of women working in theatre - to make their voices heard, have their work produced professionally and promote social justice.

Feminist Theatre – Then & Now is a vibrant look through the eyes of women, celebrating early female pioneers and legends, through to the rule breakers and the women in theatre today.

Feminist Theatre – Then & Now features 30+ interviews and essays by playwrights, directors, producers and actors in a wonderful selection of women’s creative practice both front and back stage including: playwright Suzie Miller (Prima Facie), Mary McCusker (Monstrous Regiment), theatre impresario Dame Rosemary Squire, SuAndi (poet and cultural director of National Black Arts Alliance); and younger women making their names including: Kelly Burke, actor and Equity committee member, and actor and writer Bibi Lucille – all of them telling their stories within feminist theatre - and the future of the art form.

Feminist Theatre – Then & Now brings to life the lived experience of generations of women working in theatre over the last 50 years and reveals the struggle to succeed in an industry where gender, race, sexuality, class and parenthood were, and still can be serious obstacles to success.

Feminist Theatre – Then & Now gives an overview, by academic Elaine Aston, of the development of Feminist Theatre from the 1970s in the UK and Ireland up to the present day. Pioneers and leading lights of the newly energised feminist theatre movement continue to fight for an equitable, diverse and inclusive theatre which speaks for all.

Jennifer Tuckett of The Women’s Theatre Labs says: “The under-representation of women in theatre continues to exist and there is a danger that it is being dismissed as an issue that has already been resolved.”

Feminist Theatre – Then & Now hears the current challenges for the whole theatre industry, brought to its knees by the pandemic, with the loss of hundreds of freelancers to other jobs. It raises the burning question of how to rebuild a new kind of theatre with true cultural equity and a level playing field.

Publisher Cheryl Robson says: “I first spoke about inequality in theatre whilst studying for my MA in Playwriting in the 1990s at a conference organised by the playwright David Edgar and Birmingham University’s Drama Department. Shockingly little has changed and women in theatre are still not getting a fair share of the cake. Still only 30% (the same statistic I cited over 30 years ago), of new theatre writing is by women. So I decided to accelerate progress by publishing Feminist Theatre – Then & Now to pay tribute to half a century of amazing work by women theatre-makers. Feminist Theatre has hugely contributed to changing our culture in the UK and deserves recognition. The book also hears from new female theatre-makers, who highlight the ongoing under-representation and workplace challenges of women in theatre. Feminist Theatre is still important as part of our toolkit to challenge discrimination and enable opportunity.”

Feminist Theatre – Then & Now. How much has changed in 50 years? Not enough…….
Exclusive live discussion celebrating 50 years of Feminist Theatre – Then & Now at Books on the Rise (80 Hill Rise, Richmond, TW10 6UB) on Thursday 16 May at 7pm - part of Feminist Book Fortnight – full guest line up including contributors from the book - TBC.

We have TWO COPIES to give away.

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