Ovation: Challenging the lack of gender diversity and inclusivity in theatre

I like hearing about creative projects, especially ones by women for women. Having recently discovered Ovation – a new forum for women and female identifying creatives in British theatre, aiming to provide opportunities for networking and skills development – I thought I’d help them spread the word with a quick blog post. The Ovation website gives a good overview of what they’re about:

Ovation was created by arts writer, Victoria Sadler, following sustained issues she found with the platforming and ongoing support given to women creatives across theatre. “I still see a huge imbalance in gender across the theatre industry,” she says, “particularly when we look at writers, directors, and artistic directors for major venues. I was so frustrated seeing the same issue year on year, and so I asked myself – what can I do to change this?”

The working committee for Ovation was set up in March 2018 to consider the issue and devise a possible solution. The approach agreed upon was to create space for women in buildings and theatres, and to fill that space with talks, panels, workshops, performance and networking opportunities. The result is an events calendar that will bring women and female-identifying creatives face to face with other key people in the industry – whether that be Artistic Directors, producers, agents, or literary departments – so that these people can give them the right advice and the right contacts at the right time.

Ovation aims to continue working with theatres and production companies as the project grows, in order to promote inclusion and opportunities for women and female-identifying creatives, first across London and then the rest of the UK. Events are key to Ovation but places in which to hold them can be hard to find, so the team are asking anyone to get in touch if they have a physical space that Ovation could use to bring women creatives and the theatre industry together.

Details of the first season of events, beginning with an opportunity to meet the team in London on Monday 1st October, can be found on the Ovation website. You can also find more information about Ovation on Twitter and on the project’s Facebook page.

Team photo via the Ovation Facebook Page.

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