Following a public outcry in the wake of the announcement of the Abbey Theatre’s 2016 programme, #WakingTheFeminists held a public meeting on Thursday 12 November 2015

On Wednesday 28th October, the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre, launched its programme to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising – an event that ultimately led to the founding of the Irish State. The Abbey Theatre and its members were actively involved in both the Rising itself and the debates around the founding of the Republic.

Only one play of the ten programmed in the 2016 programme was written by a woman – and just three out of these plays will be directed by women.

#WakingTheFeminists is a campaign by Irish artists to demand change in the systems that under-represent the work of women artists at the Abbey.

Prior to 2006 14% of the plays presented at the Abbey Theatre were by women writers.  Since 2006 that figure has fallen to 12.3%.

However, the issue is bigger than any one organisation or individual, and #WakingTheFeminists recognises that discussion and action is needed to realise a new artistic landscape that reflects Irish society, and represents ‘all the children of the nation equally’.