Titled “Award finalist withdraws in protest”- Caleb’s letter has reached the Sydney Morning Herald – complete with comments from Neil Armfield and one of Caleb’s fellow finalists Tamara Asmar:

I would love to hear from the other finalists what they think of this- and what their stance of if they “win” or “lose” and if the issue of gender is anything that crosses their mind?

I’m glad the SMH has picked up this issue- and I really think theatre, arts and culture should be discussed more in the newspapers than they currently are represented… Imagine a world inwhich there is a big arts lift out called THEATRE or ARTS or IDEAS that sits along in the newspapers along with DRIVE and TRAVEL or CAREER… Imagine a world where arts, culture and identity are not synonymous with recipes, lifestyle and bikini fashion for the summer! Imagine ALL the shows on in Sydney are reviewed by a team of 12-15 people who range in age between 18 and 80! Imagine where the voices in the print media that talk theatre are as diverse as the theatres themselves!!!!

I am still trying to figure out how women make the leap from “Independent” to “Mainstage” (if that is what they want) … and if there are assumptions about women artists that I am not aware of. Is there a prejudice towards women? Or is a prejudice towards personality types?

When thinking about this topic there are a couple of books (both published by Methuen) I believe have been invaluable in affecting the way I think about myself as writer and director- who happens to be a woman.

RAGE and REASON: Women Playwrights on Playwriting by Heidi Stephenson and Natasha Langridge


Taking Stage: Women Directors on Directing by Helen Manfull
(which has the inscription: “To women directors and playwrights everywhere, in the words of Di Trevis, “Just do it!””)