Salutations on this important day for women around the globe.
The last couple of years have been a rollercoaster for the women’s movement, for feminists old and new, and for the connections being made by activists across the world. At DT+ we want to take a moment this year to celebrate fully the contributions made by women in theatre and performance – on stage, backstage and behind the scenes by opening the platform up to all free on International Women's Day. We’re looking at their places in history, their pioneering practices, and their ability to articulate and demonstrate what they do.
Three fantastic women from Digital Theatre+, Community Manager Alesha Tatum-Howe, Publishing Director Talia Rodgers, and Creative Producer Fiona Lindsay, highlight their recommendations for you to watch with your students with your free access. They showcase the fantastic women on DT+ and we want anyone who studies, teaches, or researches performance to know about their work.
Talia Rodgers, Publishing Director
"Last summer we filmed a fascinating two-hour exchange between Harriet Walter and Professor Carol Rutter – an in-depth discussion of ‘Shakespeare’s Women Today’ and a kind of song of innocence and experience. The conversation ranged over Walter’s extraordinary career and used her work as a springboard to talk about female roles, Shakespeare’s language and musicality, gender-blind casting, sexuality in performance, and a whole lot more.
Coming to the platform soon are artists Lois Weaver of Split Britches and the one and only Bobby Baker, each in conversation with Professor Jen Harvie. Lois spoke about narrative, collaboration and visibility, her magnificent creation Tammy WhyNot, and public engagement. Bobby described her iconic work ‘An Edible Family in a Mobile Home’, and talked about Daily Life, aesthetics, and mental health, amongst other things.
We also invited Charlotte Vincent of Vincent Dance Theatre, to talk to Professor Anna Furse; Complicite co-founder Annabel Arden to talk to Catherine Alexander; and Lyn Gardner, Lois Keidan and Maddy Costa to conduct a roundtable discussion ‘Talking About Theatre and Performance’.
Looking to the future we’re planning a series on pioneering women of the theatre, past and present, known and unknown, from all areas of performance practice and all geographies and cultural traditions. Watch this space!"
Fiona Lindsay, Creative Producer
"As women, we often say “I need to find my voice”, as if it's been lost or never even existed. Our voice is integral to our identity; it's the means by which we tell the world of our life experience - not just in the words that come out of our mouths but in tone, speed, hesitation, clarity and texture. We are our voice, in a sense, and we must use it boldly and honestly.
Many years ago, whilst working at the RSC, the inspirational Director of Voice, Cicely Berry, spoke to me about the importance of finding your true voice. This wasn't about accent or vocabulary but spirit and core belief and passion. Using this voice takes courage. I've been reading A History of Britain in 21 Women - remarkable tales of queens, visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians. These are tales of women with ‘true’ voices, women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, whose lives embodied hope and change. They simply saw it as what they had to do at the time.
Similarly, theatre director Lucy Bailey felt she had no choice but to release the true voice of Katharina in her RSC production of The Taming of the Shrew with Lisa Dillon in the leading role. This Kate was a defiant woman who would not be cowed. This Kate was a disrupter whose spirit beat down her oppressors. This Kate had a big heart and a huge voice which she prized highly and used well. Watch the interview today for free, and follow Kate’s lead!
DT+ has a treasure trove of interviews with some of the most skilled and creatively courageous women in theatre: Juliet Stevenson, Imelda Staunton, Julie Walters, Zoe Waites, Katy Stephens, Vicky Featherstone, Alecky Blythe, Katrina Lindsay and Imogen Knight to name but a few. They are all ‘true voiced’, as we all want to be. Be all that you are."
Alesha Tatum-Howe, Community Manager
"We are committed to ensuring schools and districts are able to make effective and sustained use of this incredible resource and that they inspire you, your students and colleagues. I am writing to you today in celebration of International Women’s Day and women who are working in the world of theatre.
On this special day, to celebrate the wonderful women featured on Digital Theatre+, we are giving you free access to our exclusive and full-length interview with 2018 Oscar-nominated actress, Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird). In this interview, she discusses her work on Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night at London’s Apollo Theatre. Here she candidly discusses the character of Mary Tyrone and the mental, physical and emotional difficulties involved in playing the complex role.
This is just one example of the outstanding pieces of content we have available on Digital Theatre+ from diverse, influential and inspirational theatre practitioners. The platform is continually growing, with new and exciting resources and materials being added almost daily."
Happy International Women’s Day!