CMU School of Drama

Friday, January 13, 2017

Where Are the Disappeared Women of the Theatre?

HowlRound: Tara Derrington scribbled her question on the back of one of her daughter’s paintings. She woke at 3 A.M. with it spinning in her mind. That day in November 2015, Tara joined close to 600 women at a rally in Dublin for Waking the Feminists (WTF) to fight for gender equality on the stage. She attended alone after the event proved inaccessible to many of her colleagues due to scheduling. Standing solo, photographers snapped the image of Tara holding the sign she had made with her question in thick, black ink: “Where are the disappeared women of the Arts?

1 comment:

Sasha Schwartz said...

It’s so sad to read about the many difficulties and hurdles women have had to overcome within the workplace due to their dual roles as artists and mothers. Oftentimes I don’t think about these issues because they feel so specific, when in reality they are extremely commonplace and widespread, so much so that something as simple as school pickup times or lack of childcare at workplaces can mean worlds of difference for the careers of incredibly capable and determined women. I know we’ve discussed, very briefly in class but mostly amongst our friend groups, that it is definitely difficult, or sometimes outright impossible for full time working theater people to raise families, particularly within the world of PTM, because so much time needs to be devoted to being on-site and reachable at all times. I’ve definitely worried about this, even as someone wanting to go into scenic design and painting, because not only do I want to raise children but I also have an older autistic brother who will be in my care when my parents can no longer take care of him. I’m so lucky to have a supportive family and to be in a financial situation where this isn’t something that shapes my life as much as I know it does for so many other family members of dependants, but it’s still something that crosses my mind often. I hope that there will be more and more resources put into place for mothers (and fathers, and others) to be able to still have fulfilling careers while balancing the time consuming yet rewarding tasks of raising and supporting a family.