The women to men ratio in the performing arts is roughly 3:10. The percentage of female writers and directors in Australian theatre is 30%. The stats are even lower in film and television. That, in my opinion, is a disgrace. How can 50% of the population have a maximum 30% of the voice? Art is what people use to put a mirror up to themselves. If we are under-represented on our screens and in our theatres then we are under-represented in many other parts of life (and there are plenty of statistics that demonstrate just how many other parts!).
Gender equality is something I get pretty riled up about because there is unequivocally no reason for such poor representation of women in the performing arts. So I’ve boycotted a blog that would usually be an update on my life as a professional performer to share an event I’m helping organise – Australian Women in Theatre and Screen Think Tank.
Today I wrote about the stats and the state of theatre and film for women in Australia at Aussie Theatre. Read the story here. [Post note – read Rosemary Neill’s thorough, informative feature article in The Australian here. Myself and Lizzie Schebesta were honoured to be part of the conversation.]
On Monday (26 October), women throughout the entertainment industry will gather at 7pm in the York Theatre, Seymour Centre to brainstorm ways to create effective and permanent change. Over 250 prominent actors, directors and writers will stand together to start a new wave of affirmative action. It’s well and truly time. Keep updated at our website here and join us if you can.
In other news, to briefly update on what I’ve been up to the past few months…
EIGHT by Ella Hickson had a successful, sold-out season at the Sydney Fringe Festival. Our company, Edgeware Forum made a brilliant profit due to such an overwhelming response and we are already working on our next project to bring to Sydney audiences in the early part of next year.
Straight after EIGHT I went into rehearsals for Convict Escapades, a fun show at Hyde Park Barracks written by Jessica Bellamy and directed by Danielle O’Keefe. I played a beautiful, real-life character who was a stowaway on the way to convict Sydney with her son. It was fun to perform for little kids who were captivated by stories of Australia’s convict history.
After some very close-call auditions for some big touring musicals and a TV show, I’m back to training hard on my craft. Hopefully I’ll get to a recording studio to lay down some tracks before the year is out!