After sell out shows at The Arcola Theatre and VAULT Festival Women’s Writes is back! This time they’re going Live-to-Digital with The Women’s Writes Online Festival and they’re looking for their next Female-identifying Playwrights. We chat to Women’s Writes creator Alex Critoph about the Online Festival…
I wanted to create a space with Women’s Writes where womxn’s voices could be heard and honest, driven female narrative given a platform. To date the New Writing Nights have taken place at The Arcola and VAULT Festival and rather than letting lockdown and the Theatre closures halt the companies progress, I want to use it to further our reach. Live-to-digital is allowing many companies to engage new audiences and this is particularly important for womxn writers and viewers.
Online Streaming obviously allows more rural audiences to be reached, Arts Council England did a Live-to-Digital survey in 2016 which showed that of those surveyed 29% were rural streamers. The survey also shows that male streamers are outweighed by womxn who make up a total of 76%. More womxn are engaging with Live-to-Digital than men.
Another report, Boxed in 2019-2020, shows that only 24% of broadcast programmes featured a female protagonist, cable programmes were marginally better with 27% but streamed programmes came out best with 42%. Of these it’s not known how many were Live-to-Digital programmes but it seems that not only are more womxn streaming but womxn are also being more fairly represented in streamed programmes too.
The Women’s Writes Online Festival will showcase 5 short (15min) monologue plays plays written by womxn. The short plays will be paired will brilliant female directors, cast and then filmed at the Arcola Theatre ready to be made available for an online audience from the 1st -31st Jan 2021.
2020 was a bit of a blip, and we’re all feeling it, the Festival aims to create a maelstrom of Womxn’s voices online to bring in the New Year with agency, empowerment and inspiration. The Theatre’s being dark won’t stop us telling female-driven stories.
Previous topics for Women’s Writes plays have included; Womxn learning to love their bodies, the mental health side effects of The Pill, exploring sexuality and retelling history from the female perspective. You decide where the Online Festival will take us.