Tonic Theatre was created in 2011 as a way of supporting the theatre industry to achieve greater gender equality in its workforces and repertoires. Today, Tonic partners with leading theatre companies around the UK on a range of projects, schemes, and creative works. Our ground-breaking Advance programme (www.tonictheatre-advance.co.uk) saw us work with the Artistic Directors and senior creative staff of a cohort of England’s most influential theatres to bring about concrete change within their own organisations and the wider industry. It is a process the Guardian commented “could transform the theatrical landscape forever.” 100 Great Plays for Women, our previous collaboration with Nick Hern Books, was published in 2013 to wide acclaim and was subsequently the inspiration for a series of lectures at the National Theatre. We are now delighted to be launching Platform, our range of new plays commissioned to increase opportunity and aspiration among girls and young women who take part in youth drama.
Tonic’s approach involves getting to grips with the principles that lie beneath how our industry functions – our working methods, decision-making processes, and organisational structures – and identifying how, in their current form, these can create barriers. Once we have done that, we devise practical yet imaginative alternative approaches and work with our partners to trial and deliver them. Essentially, our goal is to equip our colleagues in UK theatre with the tools they need to ensure a greater level of female talent is able to rise to the top.
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