Remarkable women throughout the ages have broken through the glass ceiling, and though some are celebrated, society has not focused on these powerful women enough. To start to help to rectify that, a spotlight will shine on the work and voices of women of all backgrounds at Shakespeare’s Globe‘s Women & Power festival this May.
The empowering event will have a programme of performances, panels, and a scholarly symposium to not only focussing on exceptional women and their achievements but also exploring how the work of Shakespeare speaks to the current gender revolution, and how women can use Shakespearean performance to tell their own stories of oppression.
To kick things off on 12 May, there will be a celebration of Virginia Woolf’s seminal works, A Room Of One’s Own and Three Guineas, both of which will be read in candlelight in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
On 13 May, Professor Clare McManus and Professor Lucy Munro will lead a one-off workshop titled Engendering The Stage. This workshop will explore the history of gendered performance on the Renaissance stage and will illuminate the practice of playing with gender on stages across Europe.
Tuesday 14 May will see a panel entitled Women & Power: Directing Theatre in the 21st Century. Panellists include Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and Globe Associate Artist Athena Stevens. Join them for a discussion on how female directors can shape the future of theatre, interrogate the place for feminism in classical theatre, and expand upon the opportunities and challenges a director’s gender presents.
On Wednesday 15 May, Women & Power will bring together theatre company Clean Break and not-for-profit Southall Black Sisters who are both celebrating 40 years of activism. Clean Break & Southall Black Sisters @ 40: Activism will feature a selection of speakers from each organisation to discuss how we can either become activists or support activism in the fight for equality and human rights.
Bang Rome: Why Pickup Artists Read Ovid and Why It Matters is on Thursday 16 May. Classicist Donna Zuckerberg will discuss her seminal book Not All Dead White Men: Classics And Misogyny In The Digital Age.
The end of the week will see the Women and Leadership: A Symposium which will delve into the myriad challenges women in leadership roles face in politics, the arts, culture and academia. The day will consist of three panel discussions: Women, Culture and Art (with Winsome Pinnock, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Claire van Kampen and Stella Kanu discussing); Women and Politics (with Baroness Kingsmill CBE and Rachel Reeves appearing); and Women, Education and Academia (with Professor Liz Schafer and Dr Sumi Madhok, and chaired by Dr Gillian Woods.
To end the festival, Deep Throat Choir will take to the stage on Saturday 18 May.
So join some incredible speakers to discuss some of the most important questions of our time and how theatre and art plays a part.
To find out more and to book tickets, visit shakespearesglobe.com.