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Women in Scottish theatre

'Women are people, and being 52% of the population means they are by definition mainstream' (Sue Parrish, Sphinx theatre company)

'Women's theatre' is still theatre, and does not constitute one distinct theatrical genre. 

There are however subjects, environments and creative processes that could be considered particular to women.  This is reflected in the existence of niche groups like womens' new writing circles and companies.

Skye Loneragan's Unsex Me Here; Photo: Niall Walker

Scene from Dido; Photo: Courtesty Martin Danziger Though not a minority group, women have been underrepresented in British theatre as a whole.  Vicky Featherstone's appointment to the National Theatre of Scotland in 2004 reportedly came at a time when women were 'more underrepresented as artistic directors in British Theatres than at any point in the last 20 years' (The Guardian).

Scotland can, however, enjoy the fruits of its female theatrical talents.  As well as welcoming Vicky Featherstone in playing her part to drive Scottish theatre, Scotland can boast the likes of established theatre practitioners such as playwrights Liz Lochhead and Rona Munro. 

Cat In A Cup's Such is Nature; Photo: Marius Alexander

Despite underrepresentation, Scottish theatre has benefitted from its female directors.  For example, Ali Curran has just joined the Tron Theatre as its new Director.  Women also lead a range of theatre organisations and networks, including the Federation of Scottish Theatre.


Add to this the host of female dramaturgs, actresses, set designers, costume designers, technicians, promoters, producers and theatre company and venue staff amongst a vast array of others, and the thought of women as discrete in theatre becomes blurry to say the least.  Ailie Cohen Puppeteer; Photo: Esther Cohen

While it may be true that there is a greater need for true representation of women in theatre, there is certainly no doubt that woman have played (and continue to play) a great role in supporting Scottish theatre and each other in their roles.

Women in Scottish theatre
* Profile - Pamela Carter
* Focus on - Stellar Quines
Related links
* Tron Theatre
* Federation of Scottish Theatre
* Stellar Quines
* International Centre for Women Playwrights
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