Gender equality and Irish theatre

 

Sir, – The self-congratulatory tone of “Yes we did: Irish theatre’s gender revolution” (News Review, July 14th) is jarring. While few would disagree with the proposals contained within the gender equity policy document, surely it is time to focus on the larger issues facing Irish theatre. What of the lack of concern over the impending closure of Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre? The reputed drop-off in attendances? And the key issue – the growing disconnect, where the public does not seem to share theatre’s sense of its own importance?

#Waking the Audience, anyone? – Yours, etc,

PAUL THORNTON,

Clontarf,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – You reported on July 8th about the gender equality campaign agreed to by ten Irish theatres and arts festivals, which will ensure that there will be gender-blind readings and that half of all future plays commissioned by theatres will be written by women.

I agree with the former but not the latter.

Gender blind readings are positive but agreeing to stage 50 per cent of accepted plays read based on the fact that the writer is female is discriminatory and sexist. The gender of the playwright will be given more importance than the quality of the writing. To achieve a 50 per cent quota, well-written plays by men may be rejected in favour of lesser-quality plays written by women. – Yours, etc,

PAUL SODEN,

Santry,

Dublin 9.