Thursday, October 15, 2009

Australian debate reaches UK: Cultural desert for female directors

Australian theatre should get real

by Chris Wilkinson | | 14th October, 2009

Bloggers in Australia are cross about how few plays are being directed by women and debating whether naturalism is dead

G'day! And welcome to a Noises Off Australia special. Two major rows have blown up for Aussie theatre bloggers of late, and so this week I'm digging down under to find out what has got everyone so upset.

The first issue concerns the newly announced seasons from Sydney's Company B Belvoir and Melbourne's MTC. Between them, the companies will producing a total of 17 shows next year, of which only two (one from each theatre) will be directed by women. On hearing the news, Sydney-based playwright Joanna Erskine said her "heart sank" and "blood seemed to boil" at the apparent discrimination. She is not the only one who is angry. The blog of the Australian Women Directors Alliance says its chair, Lucy Freeman, has written to MTC to say: "If we could see signs that there were professional development pathways or schemes put in place to make entry of women directors into the fold a little easier then we might imagine that the situation will be better in five to 10 years. But the situation hasn't got any better, in fact it's got worse." [READ MORE]

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