Equal Writes: Which women are we not seeing represented on stage?

Equal Writes is an initiative in response to current issues around gender parity presently existing on stage in the UK and is part of the nationwide campaign addressing this situation.

Women are 51% of the population and form 68% of theatre audiences yet recent statistics by The Guardian, Equity, FIA and Sphinx Theatre show a persistent 2:1 male-to-female ratio of roles for actors appearing on stage. A significant consequence of this inequality is the stereotyping of women, lack of role modelling and an even greater diminishing of representation of women over the age of 35.

These statistics reflect the fact that the narratives of numerous women’s stories and identities are missing. While “all the world’s a stage” it is clear that many women are not seeing themselves represented; a wealth of their stories are to be uncovered, considered and made visible.

Equal Writes focuses on practical and creative responses to the question ‘Which women are we not seeing represented on stage?’, welcoming thought-provoking ideas and inspirations to take this forwards. Equal Writes is open to all pro-active contributions from men and women towards representing greater visibility of women, role-modelling, breaking through stereotyping and age barriers for theatre audiences; to encourage and inspire the creation of more widely varied roles for women on stage and further the prospect that this becomes a reality.

Earlier this year Equal Writes put out a call to all playwrights to submit short scenes and monologues with the focus on women, women’s stories or women in situations we are not presently seeing represented on UK stages. Following a fantastic response to Equal Writes’ call for submissions an evening of selected scenes, monologues and discussion was held at Tristan Bates Theatre on 11 March 2013. For more information about Equal Writes and links to articles/blogs about this event please seewww.equalwrites.co.uk