The seventh meeting of the GAP Salon took place on Tuesday, 13 May at 6:30PM.
We began the meeting by introducing ourselves and responding to our VIVA (Venting, Ideas, Victories, Action) prompt, borrowed from San Francisco’s YEAH I Said Feminist, A Theatre Salon. Common themes were:
- frustration and isolation in trying to begin conversations about gender in unfriendly contexts
- the pressure to “get feminism right”
- a desire to find or make opportunities to perform
- industry cycles that keep older women off stage: the difficulty of finding great roles for older women, the difficulty of staying in the industry as an older woman, the difficulty of casting a new play with older women.
- a lack of cumulative data collection on the representation of women in theatre.
- cross-gender, gender-bending, or gender-flipping work in progress.
GAP Salon’s current priorities for action are:
- actively reaching out across the theatre community to diversify our Salon membership
- fostering new partnerships with companies, venues, and organisations
- raising awareness of our online community and in-person Salons
- finding physical meeting space for our monthly gatherings
We also discussed an opportunity for a new writing night; a group theatre trip in June; and gender-bending Shakespeare workshops. More details on all of these initiatives to come on the GAP Salon Facebook page.
We always end our meetings by inviting members to share resources or projects they’re working on:
- Tiny Dog Productions’ collection of short plays at the White Bear Theatre May 18, 19 & 25.
- Postscript, a week of new writing nights at the Drayton Theatre in early June.
- Fourth Monkey’s Greek Season of Rhesus and Lysistrata June 9 – 21.
- The Helen Project at the Lost Theatre’s Face to Face Festival in July
- Travesti, a cross-gender verbatim play going to Edinburgh
- multiple gender-curious Shakespeare adaptations in development
- Monthly round-up of theatre by women in London on The Book of Maev
- Related: San Francisco Counting Actors Project
Our next event is scheduled for Tuesday, 3 June. Details to come via the GAP Salon Facebook group. As always, you are welcome, and feel free to bring any interested parties.
The GAP Salon (Gender and Performance) aims to connect, sustain, and inspire a community of artists and advocates working for gender equality. We facilitate conversations within this collective and support initiatives that come from GAP Salon members.
These initiatives so far have included performance projects like Bite The Apple and a co-hosted WOW Party at the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival, as well as group theatre trips to see gender-conscious plays around London. What’s next? Come and propose an idea.