August 4th, 2014
Welcome to The Interval. Much like young Barbra Streisand in I Can Get it For You Wholesale, we are rolling onto the stage with something to say—something about women in theatre. Intrigued? Good. Because we want to take a minute to tell of you out there in Internet Land a little more about why The Interval was founded.
Women are not equally represented on American stages– not even close (so the next time someone says “really?” you can be like, “yes, really,” in your best Lady Mary manner). We need female voices in theatre and we need them at every level—from community theatre to Broadway. We discover the world and ourselves through stories; they put us in dialogue with everyone from the person we never dreamed of meeting to the person we dream we’ll become. Women make up half the population and their stories need to be told—both about them and by them. And because not telling girls they can’t do something is not the same as telling them they can.
We know you know that. But a lot of people don’t know. And that’s a problem. Luckily, there have been many people trying to fix this . We want to take a moment to thank those amazing women, because we wouldn’t be doing this without them. They inspired us to ask, “What can we do to make this better?” Because there is a long way to go (which reminds us: we put together some ideas about what you can do).
But back to us. At The Interval we wanted to create a place where conversations about women in theatre could happen that wasn’t held within the bounds of labels like “writer,” “actress,” “Broadway,” or “Off-Broadway.” A place that included a diverse assortment of women’s voices and that made them accessible to everyone. Because you shouldn’t have to know who they are to know who they are, you know what we mean? And we wanted to create a place for smart and stylish content. We’re going to go ahead and say it: theatre is awesome and so are the women who create it. Theatre shouldn’t be treated like the entertainment industry’s crazy aunt who’s kept locked up in the attic. Theatre matters and how we talk about things matters.
We’re going to be talking to some really great women about a lot of things. One of the themes you’ll notice coming up a lot is the relationship between personal development and artistic development—or being a woman in the world. Let’s face it, becoming a woman is hard work—we’re not exactly sure ourselves what that means, but we know it’s more than just turning eighteen. Figuring out who we want to be in the world is one of the things we use storytelling for, whether it’s a fictional tale on-stage or the story of how that accomplished woman got to where she is. There’s a lot that’s hard about being an adult and about the creative fields, but hearing stories that reflect the experience of being a woman should not be one of those things.
There’s a moment in A Little Princess (if you’re looking for a type of female Catcher in the Rye this is it) where Sara Crewe, the book’s heroine, thinks to herself, “Perhaps kind thoughts reach people somehow, even through windows and doors and walls. Perhaps you feel a little warm and comforted, and don’t know why, when I am standing here in the cold hoping you will get well and happy again.” And that is how we feel about why we started this website. We hope that the words, thoughts, and ideas of the amazing women we talk to will reach people—from the casual theatregoer to the powerful producer to the eleven year old girl putting on plays in her living room. Because storytelling is important and women’s voices are vital to that. So we are standing here hoping the theatre gets equal, well, and happy.
Remember, as Cate Blanchett (you know, the award winning actress who was also Artistic Director of a theatre company) said in her Oscar speech, “The world is round.”
And, yes, in the course of 750 words we went from Barbra Streisand to Lady Mary to Friends (did you catch that one?) to Victorian authors to Cate Blanchett and that is also the kind of content you will find here.
Happy reading and happy thinking!