The End of the Beginning of Equality for Women in Irish Theatre

On July 9th, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD launched Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre at the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin.

The gender equality policies of 10 theatre companies have been crafted to encompass the individual workings and requirements of the ten organisations and to acknowledge that it is vital that women’s voices are allowed are heard on stage, across the cultural sector and across society as a whole. This is a joint promise to address and rebalance the gender equality deficiencies within Irish theatre and the documents launched today include the following policy commitments;

  1. Gender blind readings for plays
  2. Unconscious bias training for all staff
  3. Achieve equality of gender of board members
  4. 50% of a new play commissions to be allocated to women writers
  5. Gender blind casting
  6. Addition of Dignity at Work clauses to employees charter
  7. Re-examination of the female canon 
  8. Work with third level institution to encourage gender parity in areas that do not reflect equality of gender.
  9. To achieve gender balance in programming within a 5 year period.

This work is the culmination of the process that started with the Waking the Feminists movement in 2015. The 10 organisations involved in this sectoral collaboration are The Abbey Theatre, Cork Midsummer Festival, The Corn Exchange, Druid Theatre, The Everyman, Dublin Theatre Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company, The Gate Theatre, The Lir Academy, Rough Magic Theatre Company. Information on the policies can be found on the individual company websites or at http://www.wakingthefeminists.org/

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