People who know me personally or are just familiar with me talking about what and how I (would) like to work usually know how much I am into everything ‘gender’ (this sounds so weird. SO WEIRD!). I’m getting a lot of my (academic) inspiration from what Judith Butler wrote, especially from Gender Trouble‘s second to last chapter. Basically 80% of my undergrad classes in my major dealt with gender and how we see bodies (on stages and I’m trying hard to keep in that way in grad school. While I am usually primarily thinking about how gender might be constructed in certain theatrical productions, in certain moments through music, action, dance, language….basically whatever you could think of.
A big part of my private personality is about being a feminist which (to me) means: I am all in for equality of all people. And if that means rooting for women for a while in order to get us (women, society) as far as we can get in equality – so be it. That certainly doesn’t mean I don’t like men or the work of men. In fact some of my very dear collaborators are male and I will continue to work together well with men. Why shouldn’t I?
But – and there is a big, big B-U-T!
If you have been following this blog you might remember my post about two major competitions held in (musical theatre) Germany these days I posted a while ago (if you don’t: check it our here!) and if you – aditionally or alternatively follow me on twitter you might have guess that I’ve recently jumped on the gender parity waggon, mostly because of the amazing (journalistic) work the ladies at The Interval do.
Actually this has – especially in musical theatre in Germany – bothered me for a while. While in most other genres of theatre women tend to become more and more likely to cover high(ish) positions – it isn’t the case with musicals.
What I wanted to leave here in order to celebrate international women’s day today is: The men in our community are doing good work.
But – and here it finally comes, the big B-U-T – let’s just raise awareness for now. May I ask you to – every time you go and see a show, will you read the names of creative teams and just take a moment? If there aren’t any women in it or if there are, it doesn’t matter. Let’s just think about gender parity in German musicals, okay?
And for those you are making the decisions: I would love to see women and girls encouraged to do work in our business.
I have a hard time starting out myself and I would LOVE to see and meet other young professionals working in/with musicals! But just for now I wish us all (women AND men) to have a fantastic women’s day which I will celebrate by going to Leipzig and see my college’s production of Songs For a New World.
Just in case you were just thinking I was making things up here or you need some kick to start thinking about gender parity in theatre, Frank Wesner took this impressive shot last Monday during the first preselection of works at the CREATORS contest I mentioned earlier and in the other post liked above. Pictured are the creators of the five new musicals featured in this preselection. Do I need to say more? ;)