Issue date: Fri 24 February 2017
Women who have had a baby in the last twelve months are being invited to attend three workshops at Greenwich Theatre in March to help shape a show that examines the key issues around having a family and pursuing a career.
The workshops will be run by White Slate Theatre Company in the theatre’s new studio space on March 16, 23 and 30 for their third show, Re:Production, about a top scientist faced with difficult decisions about her own fertility.
White Slate are playwright Jenna May Hobbs and director Suzanna Ward, 26-year-olds who both studied at the University of Kent. “We were very interested in women working in science and why numbers seem to drop off around the age of 30,” said Jenna. “We quickly came to realise how hard it can be to forge a career in the scientific field as well as raising a family.
“At the same time we knew there were not enough strong female characters in theatre, so this offered a positive way of using theatre to look at careers and motherhood and how to strike a balance between the two - if women wanted to strike that balance.
“Fathers are not excluded. We are keen to talk to any new parents, and anyone who attends the workshops can bring their children with them and participate as much as they like. They can turn up when they like and leave when they like, have tea and biscuits, talk to us about their experiences and help us to think about how those experiences might find their way into a show.”
“The workshops will be a place where young parents can come and talk about something other than their children. We are actually developing two versions of the show – one for the evenings and one for afternoons when parents can bring their babies. It’s fine if they cry or need to go out and come back in again - in other words, watch theatre in a way they have never been able to before.”
White Slate did not contact Greenwich Theatre by email but sent artistic and executive director James Haddrell a video via Youtube “because we knew the theatre was doing some really great things and we’ve seen some great work there”.
James Haddrell said: “The show offers an interesting subject for us to explore as recent research shows that men outnumber women two to one in the theatre - so anything that explores that kind of imbalance in professional opportunity or ambition is sure to be enlightening. I’m delighted that we were able to help the company make a successful application for funds to Arts Council England and I’m intrigued to see what comes out of the workshops.”