'WHEN WE DO NOT SEE OURSELVES ON STAGE WE ARE REMINDED, YET AGAIN, THAT THE PEOPLE RUNNING OUR WORLD... DO NOT NOTICE WHEN WE ARE NOT THERE'
- Stella Duffy (theatre-maker)
Power Play is an award-winning activist theatre company. We use guerrilla-style immersive theatre and data activism to combat gender inequality in UK theatre.
We combine new writing programmes with research, using narrative and numbers (the qualitative and quantitative) to challenge the performing arts industry to diversify the stories it tells.
The Empty Chair
Power Play exists to fight for gender equality in the theatre industry. We started this project in response to Elizabeth Freestone’s seminal 2012 study into gender in top-level theatre, where reveals the two to one problem: there are two men for every woman in the most funded UK theatres.
Motivated by the stark clarity of seeing how the numbers break down at this level, we decided to do two things:
1.CONDUCT OUR OWN RESEARCH working with world-leading academics and data scientists to look into other parts of the industry - to get vital information for change-makers and gatekeepers
2. CREATE NEW THEATRE PLATFORMS for self-identifying female artists to make dynamic, impassioned work.
We launched the project with an immersive, site-specific showcase of four plays written and directed by women, taking over a flat in Edinburgh during the Fringe in 2018.
In 2019, we are carrying out a comprehensive, industry-wide research project; have brought our show Funeral Flowers to London; have launched the results of our Edinburgh research; and setting up our second site-responsive showcase…
"GIVEN 65% OF AUDIENCES FOR THEATRE ARE FEMALE, WE CAN DEMAND BETTER. WE CAN DEMAND FEMALE STORIES AND WE CAN DEMAND DIVERSE FEMALE STORIES. POWER PLAY, YOU ARE DOING
SUCH A WONDERFUL THING"
- Deborah Frances-White, The Guilty Feminist, Ep. 123