So over the last few days I have been in airports and while waiting for yet another connection, I have been pondering an important topic:
How women artists succeed or don't succeed
and I have felt sadness that on my four decade watch nothing really changed. I still see the majority of articles in the magazines I am flicking through focusing on men's stories, movies on these airplanes focusing on men's stories, books reviewed in international and national papers focusing on stories written by men. So I'm feeling reasonably disappointed. and then I stop and say firmly to myself:
"Ok, lady turn it around"
and I begin to see all the wonderful things that are happening and I am really amazed how much the women in our Brisbane town have stepped up with their theatre making, one of the aims of Women in Bridge Club, a group of feminist artists dedicated to change.
Here are just some of the achievements that I have noticed in the last few months, and I would really appreciate it if you added to this because I am only pulling the shows that I have actually promoted rather than those glorious numbers that have missed my radar. My radar has been very small the last weeks, isolated in the centre of Finland with no internet:
First of all we have the brilliant ladies of Belloo Creative:
http://www.belloocreative.com They are whipping up a storm, creating work written and directed and performed by women (with the occasional man, why not?). I bet they will be touring soon.
Then there is Kate Wild
http://www.metroarts.com.au/artist/now-look-here/ who has just produced and directed an all woman play at Metro Arts. I was away and missed it but by all accounts a huge success and Kate has grit and will not stop producing and directing important work.
Then Heidi Manche
http://www.roomtoplay.com.au/about-room-to-play/ who has just finished producing/acting in a play Red Sky Morning (albeit by a male writer but hey, we are after equality aren't we) with two women and one man. Heidi moved to Brisbane and started up a new company Room to Play because she saw a lack of performing spaces for independent artists.
Then there is Elise Greig
http://elisegreig.com who as EG is producing and acting in an all woman play at Metro Arts coming up real soon. Then Merlynn Tong's https://theweekendedition.com.au/the-locals/merlynn-tong/Blue Bones at Brisbane Powerhouse. Elise, as you can see on her website is one of our treasures, who has carefully built up her portfolio at the same time as growing three glorious children.
a female company we need to keep our eyes on, led by artists and researchers Dawn Albinger and Julie Robson. Not only do they publish works but also produced a delicious boutique show on grief in a tiny tent in the carriageway of Metro Arts a few months ago http://www.ladyfinger.com.au/about/
All of these companies and shows initiated by Brisbane women, beautiful wonderful intelligent and talented women. of. our. town.
So I want to celebrate this!
I want us to rejoice that despite the lack of substantial roles on main stage for women in our town, the independent scene is smashing it.
Support each other as much as you can. We have Elise Greig's show coming up at Metro Arts. Book tickets now.
SWALLOW: Three strangers cross paths. Rebecca has broken up, is breaking down and has slashed her face. Sam’s exploring a new identity in an unfamiliar world and Anna has not left her apartment for 2 years. Each one is poised precariously on the tipping point. Will they overcome their urge to self-destruct?
We have Merlynn's show at Brisbane Powerhouse. Book tickets now.
BLUE BONES: When a woman finds scars left by her ex-boyfriend of many years ago etched into her bones, she begins a turbulent journey to unpack her past and discover how he got under her skin.Based on the true story of two teenagers’ romance as it blossoms then warps in heat of bustling Singapore, Blue Bones is a one-woman show told with incredible honesty by Merlynn Tong. Combining multiple characters, song and arcade games, Blue Bones is a whirlwind of love and sex, violence and courage, with the wreckage continuing to be felt across the years.Against the backdrop of Singapore with all its beauty, rigidity and insistent chaos, Blue Bones will enchant and disturb, and perhaps even wake the stories dormant in your bones.
PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST. I KNOW I HAVE PROBABLY LEFT OUT SOME OF MY CLOSEST AND DEAREST COLLEAGUES PURELY BECAUSE I AM RECALLING THIS FROM MEMORY NOT FROM DOCUMENTATION. And a great shoutout to METRO ARTS because quite a few of these shows are happening there.
Metro Arts run by Jo Thomas and Jess Murphy: keep up the excellent work: http://www.metroarts.com.au