“Women are the Lifeblood of theatre. Don’t forget it.”
An inclusive love note to the wom*n who work in this thing we call the theatre. I’m in ‘An Intervention’ (20-31 of August at the Old 505 theatre). Hope to see you there. I’m grateful to the women I’ve met in this community along the way. Read this aloud, if you like, with gusto, if that’s your thing. – Jess-Belle Keogh
To the women of the theatre:
To the hell-raisers, the trailblazers, the pioneers and earthquakers,
To the women of the theatre.
The bone shakers, the blood boilers,
To the brave gals of the theatre.
The daring ones, the dangerous ones, the ones who combust and pick up the pieces,
The women who listen, burning.
To the writers, who sit laptop lit, coffee stained and muttering
Yes, yes, yes, yes
The joy of it all.
The status-quo pushers
The floor board stompers
To the women of the theatre
To the women who feel the hot sting of the stage lights and the ones who plot the show
To the ones who’ve had their name called
And the ones who are still waiting
To the women whose parents told them ‘No.’
To the women who sing loudly, who sing off-key, bugger it, who’ll sing the bloody song anyway
Who dance, clap hands, raise hell and heaven and live! — fingertips trembling
To those who gamble and risk.
To the mums, the grandmothers, to those going it alone.
To the Indigenous women
To the ones who love, and love, and love again even if they walk away empty handed
To the comedians
To the leaders
To the bad girls who are bad but only for good reason
The women who drink, fuck, swear and smoke and get back up in the morning,
And to the ones who’ve gone sober
To the midnight designers whose clothes are marred with pins or paint or sweat or dust or lights or sound,
The directors whose eyes bathe in surround sound story
To the proud women of colour
To the part time teachers, the part time waitresses, the full time nannies, the sometimes tutors, the receptionists, the cleaners, what’s a weekend again? —
To the ones who make ends meet.
To the stage fright sufferers
To the women who fight for their power back and win it
And to the underdogs who stand in the ring and lose
Go on, love–
To the ones who fail gloriously
To the women whose mouths hurtle ‘no!’ in protest
And to the women whose voices are hoarse:
“believe women, believe women, believe women”
To the pattern breakers and voice raisers
To the women of the theatre.
To the champions who scream and shout when something is deeply, deeply wrong
And to the ones who stand by
To the ones who walk right beside
Thank you very much.
To the ones who turn around to see that their army have left the party:
I love you.
To the women who feel alone:
To those who are straight and those who aren’t and those in between,
To the trans
To the non-binary
To the Allies
To the women who open their arms as salvation
The ones who stay on the line
To the women who just can’t anymore and to the women who’ve carried them–
Women are the lifeblood of this bloody thing.
We are the pillars.
Don’t forget it.
I love the women of the theatre, deeply and without regret.