This post is part of a series for our Her Side of the Story encounter, May 13-14 2016 located at the National Theatre School of Canada. We invited theatre artists from across Canada to reflect on how their work in theatre is influenced by their perspective as women. Are they conscious of promoting a “feminine perspective” or is it something that is intuitive? Imago Theatre would like to thank all of the artists who responded to our questions for their thoughtful, insightful responses. We will be sharing these responses on our blog for the first two weeks of May. We will also be creating a publication of selected quotes, which will be available for free at the Her Side of the Story readings, long-table discussion, and cabaret.

Martha Ross

I trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq and now I teach the Jacques Lecoq ‘method of creation’.  The more I teach this method the more I understand its brilliance.  In a way it is so simple:  by identifying with the dynamics and rhythms of ‘everything around us’ you not only arrive at an exciting and virtuosic level of play, you arrive at what you ‘want to say’. The spirit of play reveals your truth.  The characters that you discover talk, and then they talk some more, and if you remain open your talking leads you to deeper truths.  Is this the feminine perspective?  I’m not sure.  But I do know that if you encourage women to talk, as themselves or as characters, they start to tell important stories about the experience of being a woman.  Some of these stories are banal, some tragic, some are disturbing, many of them are surprising.  If I still had a theatre company I’d get women together in a room and I’d get them to talk.  And then talk some more.

It’s seems more crucial than ever that women are encouraged to be directors, writers, creators of theatre.  Misogyny doesn’t ever really go away. In many ways it seems more prevalent now than when I was a young woman in the 70s.   It’s for that reason that I’m so thrilled that women who have recently graduated from Lecoq and the Philippe Gaulier school are creating shows that address misogyny head on.  And they’re doing it with confidence, skill, and imagination.   That’s truly exciting.