Women’s Writes Online Festival  

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 loss of our industry as we know it, has been devastating, but it could  also be an opportunity to implement change, to make it more inclusive and  to champion new voices.

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. 

Submission’s are now open! You can submit your monologue play anytime  from now until Midnight on the 1st of November 2020. 


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