Waking the Feminists wants you to track gender balance in Irish theatre

29 Mar 2016

A Waking the Feminists badge at the Easter Rising centenary parade. Image via Waking the Feminists/Facebook

Waking the Feminists is asking Twitter to track gender balance in the theatre using #WTFcount.

It’s only been a matter of months since the Waking the Feminists movement first burst onto the scene on Twitter following the release of the Waking the Nation programme by the Abbey Theatre ahead of the centenary of the Easter Rising, which, it was clear to see, was rather skewed in terms of gender representation.

Of the 10 plays on the programme, nine were written by men, despite the crucial role played by women both during the Easter Rising and as some of Ireland’s most highly-regarded playwrights.

Now, however, the movement, which has gained considerable support among theatregoers and those leading Irish theatre, is hoping the general public can both raise awareness of the organisation’s cause and act as watchdogs for gender-skewed theatre.

Using the hashtag, #WTFcount, theatregoers are being asked to take a photo of the credits page of a playbill, noting the gender breakdown of the cast and creative team.

“We hope that #WTFcount can be a simple tool to help bring things to light, and we want to make it easy and straightforward as possible for you to use,” said the organisation.

As one of the coordinators of the Waking the Feminists movement, arts manager and set director Lian Bell will be telling her story of gender inequality in Irish theatre and the Waking the Feminists movement at Inspirefest this summer.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Book your tickets now.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic