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Report from the Hui on Women in Theatre

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Hui on Women in Theatre held on 19 September at Circa Theatre Wellington.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who attended the inaugural Hui on Women in Theatre in Wellington. The Hui was awash with energy, ideas and creativity.

Around 100 people attended, predominantly women of all ages and stages spanning from students to veteran actors and theatre practitioners.  We met in two three-hour gatherings at Circa Theatre.  People were welcomed to each session by the organisers 4Hui – the inequality for women in theatre in New Zealand – was brought to the fore by introductory presentations by Kate JasonSmith and Hannah Banks.  In small discussion groups key barriers to equality attendees were identified and then honed to possible solutions and actions to be taken.  A number of working groups were formed with volunteer convenors to get the ball rolling.  In the attachment to this report are the lists of these working groups and their convenors.

At the Hui participants were advised about a follow-up meeting scheduled for 11 March 2017.  Since the Hui the March date now looks likely to be a much larger event focused on topics and outcomes arising from the Hui on Women in Theatre. This may include key speakers, workshops and performances.  Circa Theatre are hosting a fortnight of women’s theatre to coincide with this event.

Linda and Kate and others in the original Hui organising group had a follow-up meeting on Thursday 29th September.  It was agreed that the group organising the 11th March meeting will be in touch with the convenors of each working group in January to canvas ideas and expectations for the March meeting.  In the meantime we are expecting the topic convenors to get onto contacting others and starting to explore their themes more fully. There is no expectation that convenors of the working groups report back before then but if you need anything such as contact details or have ideas to contribute before January feel free to get in touch with the Linda and Kate at hui@circa.co.nz.

It was suggested that someone in the media group(s) could set up a Facebook page specifically for Wellington Women in Theatre. This would become our main communication device and a place to ask questions, post articles and possibly link to other groups such as Feminist Educators of Wellington.  Perhaps as part of the Facebook page someone could come up with a good “working title” for the Wellington group.

As a result of the hui there was also a desire for people to meet and socialise “intergenerationally”.  Linda has offered Circa Theatre on Thursday 27th October from 5.00-6.30pm as a venue to gather informally for a drink and a catch up.  We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible then.

Kia ora Koutou

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