On Why Theaterkind is Still Rocking a Kinda Feminist Tony-Motto on Facebook
(disclaimer: I know Playbill.com named last week #WomenInTheatre-week, but I’ll take it as someone pointed out early last week, when she said “Shouldn’t every week be #WomenInTheatre-week?!”. And I’m like hell, yeah!)
I think even way before the nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards had been announced a thing started on various social media platforms – in my eyes mainly on twitter and it might have been the girls from The Interval NY who started it in the first place.
The “thing” was a hashtag, the hastag #Tesori2015 to be exact. To me it meant “we” – what ever that very flowy and ever changing ‘we’ on the internet is – were rooting for Jeanine Tesori, the composer of Fun Home, to win the 2015 Tony Award for best score (together with Lisa Krohn). And although I’m German and (sadly) living MILES and MILES and MILES away from the place of action – that is: New York City – I was so rooting with them.
In the weeks from the announcement of the nominations leading up to the actual Awards there was a lot of talk and bringing up of statistics happening. Important and kind of shocking pieces of information were put up on the internet – like the one that Jeanine Tesori is, with her nominations for both Shrek (2008) and Fun Home, the female composer (for theatre) with the most Tony nominations in Tony-history! Or that – in case of her win – she’d be the first female composer from a musical theatre background to win. The first EVER female composer to win a Tony for best score was Cyndi Lauper in 2013 for Kinky Boots.
2013 – the first EVER female composer. Back then it were the 67th Tony Awards.
And now 2015 #Tesori2015 really happened. And along with it also the history making fact that Fun Home won “Best Musical” as the first musical ever to be written entirely by women, focussing on a female character, having SO MANY amazing female parts in it.
I mean – really?! It’s been effing 2015!
As you might or might not know I’m all in for gender equality and gender parity and general awareness about these things not happening most of the time. And this is also why – as pathetic as it sounds – I was about to do something very, very stupid and impulse-buy plane tickets to the big ol’ city of musical theatre and be there, see the shows that created such a buzz. Long story short I didn’t do it. But I have plans….
Anyway….the reason why I am writing this is to say something about why I still hold the “#Tesori2015”-flag high, most prominently on the profile pic on the Theaterkind facebook page, even though it’s SO June 2015 and we all know two months is a CRAZY long time on the fast and ever changing internet. I think this might be a sign, some kind of slogan to keep reminding us about women making theatre history this year and also reminding us that we still aren’t somewhat near gender parity when it comes to who gets to be heard in artistic contexts – both in the US and in Germany as well.
I mean – we’re living in bloody 2015 and women have come so far and there are people saying we should be happy with what we have achieved and can do, but: NO. If I can choose to be happy about being able to open a bank account and being unhappy about women not getting the artsitic opportunities they mght deserve I most definitely will choose the latter.
I really want to raise awareness among all of us and keep us thinking about why some people get heard and recognized while some really don’t and why that might be having to do something with their gender!
And that’s it for my short-ish rant about women and Tonys and making histroy and non equality, in case you want to read some more about these wonderful topics I poped some links below….
read more about what the girls on The Interval do over here.
especially their project-ish article in which they quoted a lot of young women, including me, in theatre about the history-making Tony Awards 2015 over here.
P.S: I just recently scrolled through a new jury for a new competition for young musical theatre writers and out of the 13 members there’s only one (in numbers: 1!) woman. And while I don’t want to imply with any word I’m writing here and these men aren’t great men in and for German musical theatre – they are and I am inspired by so many of them! – I’m also just like: REALLY?!?!