Sitting outside in scorching 27 degree heat to write this it feels strange to think it was only six months ago on a cold, wet April morning that Ami, Alex and I were huddled over cups of tea in my living room discussing our frustration at the lack of roles available to women where they are allowed to just be human.
Of course there has been a big movement in recent years to combat the pattern of women playing the victim, wife, girlfriend, eye candy etc., props in the male protagonist’s story, and often this has resulted in an obsession with the ‘strong female protagonist’. Yet having this label thrown at us isn’t really much of an improvement when you think about it. You’d never ask a man “What’s it like to play such a strong male?” because it’s accepted that male parts are strong as a default. I’m not necessarily talking in a physical sense here but in the sense that they are well-written, well-rounded, three-dimensional characters that are allowed to be flawed. In short they are human.
This is what we crave. A diverse set of roles written for a diverse set of women who are allowed to be flawed, allowed to be human and, above all, allowed to tell their story.
Thus came the suggestion of forming a theatre company committed to telling interesting, fascinating stories that just happened to have women at their heart.
We began actively searching for such stories and it was Alex who came across Cynthia Ann Parker whilst reading ‘Empire of the Summer Moon’ by S. C. Gwynne. The story spoke to us all in different ways and the more we read the more we felt passionate about dramatising it for stage.
In June we embarked on a week-long period of research and development, testing out ideas in rehearsal space generously donated by Theatre Delicatessen. We focused on how we could update Cynthia Ann’s story for a modern day audience, looking at how we related to it as women and people today. However, following a scratch sharing of our work and whilst evaluating the material we had created thus far we realised her story was powerful enough to speak to audiences today without the need for a modern spin.
August saw us spend time at The Brockley Jack, developing the structure of the play and the key characters, and in September we began work on the script, settling on the title ‘Someone Found’ for our piece which we will preview at The Pleasance Theatre, Islington from Thurs 10th - Sat 12th November.
If you would like to support us in making this show happen we are currently crowdfunding here.
It’s been an exciting journey so far and we are really looking forward to sharing our work with you in a couple of months!