Making Theatre and? or? making babies.

Judy Barrington-Smuts, 21 September 2012

Provoked by Maria Ambramovitch saying that she never had children because she is an artist, and being an artist means complete focus on the art. And by seeing woman with wonderful touring performance careers who have not had children because it would have not have worked.

We have the question can you still make theatre and have a viable and full career in theatre?

Debate included;

- Whatever career you have, in whatever profession you will always find this difficult.

- It is harder to be creative with children.

- You will have to make compromises

- You will find new demands with emotions, making theatre requires a certain amount of emotion as does raising a child but it is possible to do both.

- It all depends on the type of work you make, and the work that you make or want to make may change after you have children.

- It is a mistake to stop working completely when you have had a child, you have to keep your connections and you hand in where you can so that you don't lose the work you have put in beforehand.

- Having a child may provide a time of needed change in your work/life balance. This might well prove to be healthy!

- As a maker of theatre if you have built a reputation and network then you can afford to take some time out.

- There is 10% of truth in Abramovitch's statement, but its how the artist makes art that would make that true or not.

you need time to create and think which is harder with a child.

- Financial stability is a huge factor while working in the arts anyway, so much more of a risk and hard decision to have children if you live hand to mouth with artistic projects.

- but maybe it is easier to have children working in the arts, there is a certain amount of flexibility.

- it is sad that this is even a question

_ having children doesn't mean that you lose your skills, it is harder to retain your confidence when you have been out of the loop for a period of time though.

- We, as artists need be creating structures and enabling women with children to work!

We have that capacity

- Its about a way of thinking, perhaps there are to many cultural stories about how women can't do it all and perhaps if we didn't listen and think about it but just ‘did’ it, this would be far more acceptable.

- We take risks in theatre, its the same having a baby, don't over think it.

- the ‘what if’ questions that one has as an artist and freelancer, what if i don't do that job and go on holiday? what if i do this part and not that one?, never stop.

- This question is raised at most d and D sessions, there are people out there who want to tackle this!