Along with three other women, Alison Findlay, Ruth Gregson, and Emma Rucastle, I have helped establish an all-female theatre company. Women are still underrepresented on stage, television, and film, with female roles making up much less than half of any cast. Meanwhile, all-male productions of Shakespeare and companies proliferate, claiming historical authenticity. Our response has been to create a company to stage Shakespeare and other historical plays, both as a matter of professional equity, and in the belief that audiences will find it interesting to see women portraying the full gamut of roles and a range of actions and emotions that rarely find female expression in our culture, even today. Our first production will be Jane Lumley’s Iphigenia, which, though it is almost never performed, is the first play text by a woman in English, as well as the first known adaptation of Euripides into English.

– Aliki Chapple
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