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.

Michelle Ramsay

What does the feminine perspective mean to you?

Feminine perspective to me means looking at the world through the various lenses of the very diverse group that define themselves as female or feminine.

Is it important to have the feminine perspective on stage? If so, why?

Absolutely. Because everyone has a right to tell their stories and see themselves onstage. Because women are roughly 1/2 the population of the world.

How do you approach your work as a female practitioner? Does the feminine perspective inform your work?

I generally don’t consider myself anything but a theatre practitioner. Sometimes I have to define myself for others to understand where I’m coming from. When I do there are several labels and female is one of them. I think that my female perspective informs my work just as all the parts of me inform my work. My queer identity probably informs my work the most. This filter has given me a chance to see the world from the outside. Someone who needs to observe and react. This is what I do as a lighting designer. I observe the room and the world that we are trying to create and react to it with light.

According to you, what stories need the most telling? How is this reflected in your practice?

The stories I want to support are those that you wouldn’t normally hear — the experiences of people that aren’t in your day to day world. We need to keep broadening our collective understanding in this way. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot with diverse companies that do exactly this work.

How do you approach choosing the work? What do you look for?

Generally, I look for collaborators whose process is similar to mine. These could be specific companies, choreographers, directors or even other designers. I’m happiest when I am part of a team of people who work to create a piece together. Directors and other designers that are true collaborators.