Waking The Feminists Creates a Gender Parity Revolution in Irish Theatres
Waking the Feminists Creates a Gender Parity Revolution in Irish Theatres
Waking the Feminists has been an extraordinarily successful campaign for gender parity in Irish theatres. In a relatively short period of time, Irish feminists persuadedseven major theatres, including the two largest theatres in their country, the Abbey Theatre and the Gate Theatre, to make commitments to promote gender equity throughout their organizations. Also, the Gate Theatre named its first female artistic director, Selina Cartmell.
How It Started
The national theatre of Ireland, the Abbey Theatre, which receives half of the country's public funding for theatre arts, announced its new season in October, 2015. They called it Waking The Nation to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Uprising which established Ireland as an independent country from England. Nine of the ten playwrights were male and seven of the ten directors were also male. Furious responses by designer/arts manager Lian Bell, writer Belinda McKeon, and playwright/literary manager Gavin Kostick launched a conversation on Twitter.
As Lian Bell explained, "The Irish professional theatre community relies heavily on public subsidy to operate. Private philanthropy and foundations don't feature to any great degree in the funding structure here. The Abbey explicitly states in its mission statement that it exists to reflect Irish society and to put the artist at the centre of the work. For it then to so blatantly disregard women artists was for us a clear misuse of public money."
Two weeks after the Abbey's season announcement, playwrights, directors, producers, artistic directors, stage managers, designers, actors and audience members met at the Abbey to discuss the systemic gender issues throughout the Irish theatrical industry. It turned out to be the official launch of #WakingTheFeminists. Read more about the success of #WakingtheFeminists on the WomenArts Blog>>
Rebecca Roudman's "Don't Call Me Honey" * SWAN Day Song Contest - Honorable Mention *
We loved Rebecca Roudman's down and dirty cello playing on this song, and her lyrics seem especially appropriate for women struggling for gender parity:
"Don't call me honey
Don't call me baby
Don't talk call me sweetie
I ain't your lady . . .
I've got something to offer
You wouldn't expect
It's the 21st century
And I'll take your respect."
Rebecca Roudman is equally at home as a classical cello player and on the cutting edge of pop music. She is a member of both the Oakland Symphony and the Santa Rosa Symphony, and she has toured with orchestras to Brazil and throughout Europe.
She also performs extensively with diverse contemporary musicians including Amp Live of the hip-hop duo Zion I and alternative hip hop stars Deltron 3030, and with her own unique blues and bluegrass band, Dirty Cello. Led by Roudman, the Dirty Cello band has become a Bay Area favorite with over 100 shows a year and tours to China, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK and Hawaii.
In the video above, Dirty Cello performs Roudman's Don't Call Me Honey - Rebecca Roudman, cello & vocal; Jason Eckl, guitar; Anthony Petrocchi, drums; Paul Smith-Stewart, bass. Filmed by David Wong. Recorded at Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley, CA. Follow Dirty Cello on Facebook>>
Recent Posts on the WomenArts Blog
WomenArts is doing a weekly series of paid guest posts and spotlight articles on women arts leaders. Here are the past five posts: