Convener(s): Stella Duffy

Participants: Stella Duffy, Sharon Kean, Trisha Lee, Annie Lloyd, Carrie Thomas, Lewis Barfoot, Moira Buffini, Juliet Knight, Kim Gladston, Al Anderson, Elgina Field, Fiona Lesley, Sarah Kane, Anna Newell, Kirsty Lothian

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

There are two main issues affecting women in theatre right now :

CHILDREN/FAMILY/OTHER LIFE – that most women are still dealing with the bulk of childcare, at the very least have to take some time out to give birth (!), and that theatre – as it stands – rarely (if ever) makes accommodation for part-time/family oriented/non-obsessive working practices. While acknowledging that our state is better than that of women in film right now, there are still many places that can be improved.
Potential solutions : job share, don’t tell the men we’re working with that we’re working less hours but still getting the job done!, do what suits us and they’ll get used to it, help society to understand more the value of bringing up children (potential audiences!!), find a way to get away from the obsessive culture that insists we work all hours.

(nb – why is it that when a woman writes/makes a play about family, it’s ‘domestic’, but when Mike Leigh does it, it’s ‘universal’?)

Why don’t we have it? How can we get it? Why are we afraid to show it when we do have it?
Potential solutions : find a way to mentor each other, mentor young women, celebrate ourselves for what we are, IF we do work differently – that’s fine, stop worrying about alienating our employers, stop putting our ambition aside (from fear among other reasons)
And … we’re going to have a salon!! It may become a monthly thing, it may happen once and never again, it may become huge or small or not at all. It will be what it is. But the first one will be within the next month. (apologies to anyone who would also like to attend, who was not in that meeting, the choice is to keep it to the size of that group for the FIRST one simply because that’s as many people as can fit in Stella’s lounge. Thereafter we’ll find how many of us there might be and see what sort of space we need to have. It will be the space it needs to be.