Zoe Glen  
Hello, hello.

Billie Grace  
Ah, we are back

.

Zoe Glen  
Welcome back.

Thank you for coming back to listen to us for episode 2.

Billie Grace  
Yeah, we are excited. We are talking today about feminism in theatre, which,

Zoe Glen  
or probably more patriarchy in theatre?

Billie Grace  
Yes, 

Zoe Glen  
realistically.

 

Billie Grace  
So we did try to make a plan for this. But the truth about it is that it's kind of quite a big topic. And although we chose it, because it's the most obvious first topic to talk about, because it's sort of integral to the Not-God complex. I don't know where to start within all of that.

 

Zoe Glen

 Yeah.

Let's start with why it is integral to the Not-God Complex, because that seems to make some sense. I think as a starting point. Yeah.

Billie Grace  
Yes, that sounds like a starting point. Well, I guess we start with the name. 

Zoe Glen  
Yeah.

Billie Grace  
Which is a direct response to the many practitioners that we have encountered

 

Zoe Glen  
with God complexes

Billie Grace  
Who suffer...yes..with quite colossal God complexes, yes. 

Zoe Glen  
We could joke

all of whom are men. 

Yeah, we could joke to you that NGC stands for not grotowski complex that, that it could Yeah, that could be argued

Billie Grace  
It could... I hadn't thought of that joke.

It's not what it is. But also, it's not wrong. So yeah.

Zoe Glen  
It's sort of in response to kind of noticing how few female practitioners we learn about how few like women's work we were taught about both on a practitioner level and on a playwright level. And yeah,

Billie Grace  
so we mentioned last time, and you'll probably know, because there's probably 30 of you listening, and you're probably all from the same course. But we all met at rose Bruford, European Theatre Arts, the course, which teaches you about a lot of European theatre as the name would suggest. And I guess it has a focus on actually going through a bunch of different practitioners. So we we kind of went through a lot. But yes, so in those many practitioners and practices and plays, and that we studied, I can think of two woman playwrites off the top of my head we did.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah, maybe. Yeah, maybe I think a couple more, but like not many. And, like practitioners wise as well, in terms of like training, methodologies wise, like, they're, they're all men. And that's not even like, a just  this course thing. That's like, they're just all men 

Billie Grace  
did we actually do any woman practitioners? We did. Like one lesson on Stella Adler, maybe? 

Zoe Glen  
Yeah, we did a little bit of viewpoints.

Billie Grace  
Yes.

Zoe Glen  
And we had like, amazing women teach us, they're kind of adaptations of stuff

Billie Grace  
great teachers.

Zoe Glen  
Like,

Billie Grace  
it's like, when you stop and think about it, it's like, they're all men

Zoe Glen  
like all of this. Yeah.

Billie Grace  
Yeah. And yeah, I guess we were kind to thinking off that about the entire, like, lineage of Western actor training methods, because it's also worth noting that this is very Western. Like we're talking. Yes, it is European feature and a little bit into America here. 

Yeah.

Zoe Glen  
But there's like lineage of Western actor training, and that we call we call people call Stanislavski. Like the father of it, and just how weird that is.

Billie Grace  
Yeah. Stanislavski is the father of theatre, some would say which um....

Zoe Glen  
This silence is...telling

Billie Grace  
I don't even know really how to...Like this is the problem is that I don't actually have the words to respond to how deep deeply rooted patriarchy is in something that should be a free explorative art form.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah,

it's just basically

because there's not that there's I'm not going to be like, it's not that there's things wrong with Stanislavski, there is things wrong with Stanislavski but it's like, it's not being like, we don't like Stanislavski it's that like, everything. It's like you had Stanislavski and then you have Michael Chekhov and meyerhold. And just all of these Russian men. And then a few, and then a few men who weren't Russian. 

Billie Grace  
Yeah.

A lot of Russian men, some of them are American. But trained in Russia. Or train through that lineage anyway. Yeah. And it's just, and then there's the Polish men. They all Yeah, there's the  Polish men too

Zoe Glen  
Yeah, we'll get we'll get on to that

Billie Grace  
And then this, there's this sort of Central European men writers.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah, I think it's very interesting. Also, like there is such cultural variation for up Europe and throughout, like, the West. Yet, there is like a norm in theatre. And in like, what? Does this make sense?

Billie Grace  
Yeah,

Zoe Glen  
I'm not sure.

Billie Grace  
Yes, it does. And I think I think actually, that goes right back to, to the idea of Stanislavski as the father of theatre, because what the what Western theatre is, mostly comes from this one practitioner. Yeah. And this one method, and this one idea of how to tell a story, basically, and how to bring characters to life. Yeah, just like how to do theatre.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah,

I was gonna say, I guess, brings us on to writers and there being like, one way to portray female characters.

Billie Grace  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So this is this is a fun thing that I am, I guess, starting a project based around. I'm saying it now on a podcast. So I guess it has to happen. Yes, about basically, there's this fantastic book that I read, called days of abandonment. And it's by Elena Ferrante and you should all read it. It's a really great book, and the way that it's written and the way that it's just as a book, however, the character follows is not an original one, really. Or it's not an original formula anyway, and it's about a woman whose husband leaves her, and then her life falls apart.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah. And it's like the entire, like, the entire book is about her husband, but he's in it for like, all four pages. But the entire book is just about him. Like, it's not about... It's not about the woman at all. It's just about this guy,

Billie Grace  
a woman's response to this guy. Yeah. And but when you think about it that way, there are so many other similar stories that come to mind. And so many other similar characters. And so I guess, where I'm at with my thinking about this, and like, what I'm finding interesting is, so this is written by a woman. And there are other books that are similar, like, the yellow wallpaper and the trick is to keep breathing. Yeah, which is, so you recommended 

Zoe Glen  
Yeah, and

probably a million others that we cant think

of right now. 

Billie Grace  
Art written by women, and there are about, I guess, the internal struggle of this woman. And, and but again, in relation to the men leaving

,

Zoe Glen  
yeah, it's basically like this trope of like, woman's sense of self and mental stability completely dissolves as a result of conflict with man.

Billie Grace  
Yes. Um, but then it's interesting because that woman, that character exists throughout so much that returns right so, so much theatre, thinking back to like Chekhov, and Ibsen. And actually even Shakespeare, and actually, I was speaking to my partner. And I realised that also in the Greeks, like Greek mythology, and it's it's just this idea has been around forever. Why

Zoe Glen  
it's so in stuff like, like Tennessee Williams, it's like, yeah, there's like the hysterical woman who like pillar of stability would be to like, be with a man. And yeah,

Billie Grace  
it's interesting, I suppose, to notice this trope and to notice this reoccurring character. And there's something interesting in like the difference I think of when it's written by a woman and when it's written by a man

Zoe Glen  
Yeah And I guess, like, what, what does something have to do to be a feminist text?

Billie Grace  
Right? 

Zoe Glen  
Because it's like how does stuff that's written for women by women still fall into like patriarchal tropes? Yeah,

Billie Grace  
I guess that is the thing. And I guess maybe that's something that could be like, Oh, God, I might be saying a stupid thing. And this, I might have to cut this out, but I'm gonna say it anyways and so how we go? Could there be a parallel drawn between or not a parallel? But could that be linked to like choice feminism? with the idea of like, a woman can do whatever she wants, as long as it makes her happy, which of course, but ignoring things about ignoring like if that woman is doing things that make her happy, but they make her happy? Because she is pleasing the man. Yeah, she's pleasing the male gaze?

Zoe Glen  
Well, because it's, it's also like, it's the thing of being like, how is a story about a woman falling apart because she no longer exists in relation to a man feminist, but it's feminist in that it highlights that she has been taught to exist in relation to the man and that  that entire struggle, is while, obviously, the story is about the emotional turmoil of like losing somebody close to you, in whatever sense. Actually, what it's about is like, this has had such an impact because of like, patriarchal standards being projected on this character.

Billie Grace  
That's put a lot more succinctly than my kind of wandering thoughts about it

Zoe Glen  
All we had to do is record a podcast and that we, we've got a more developed show idea! Because we've also been chatting a bit about, like, chrononormativity. And the idea that, like women have, yeah, expectations for the, like, expectations on them for the timeline to which they should live their lives that like they should meet a man, and then they should settle down and get married. And then they should have kids and like, all of that, yeah. And that the societal significance of like, emphasis on these things is, again, another part of what makes the like, events that these characters experience so dramatic for them. Or so like, difficult to grapple with, and then parallels with that and kind of bits of queer theory and how like, queer lives kind of oppose those c normative standards, which we can have a whole other podcast on heteronormativity probably several. So expected. Yeah. I guess. Yeah. A parallel that we're thinking about, or an intersection that we're considering? Yes.

Billie Grace 
Oh, I was just gonna add the point back to like, yes. Women definitely have a expectation of like, when things should happen and what should happen. But once you get to you have kids, it's kind of it. That's sort of the point of womanhood. Yeah. According to patriarchal society,

Zoe Glen  
and that it's like, Okay, well, you stay here now.

Billie Grace  
Yeah, it's okay. You stay here. No, but then, which is actually really interesting, because so many of these characters, and especially um, it's Olga, and they some abandonment, she has children. So this is all happening after that already after that standstill point. And it's interesting, actually, because I suppose men don't have that same standstill expectation, or at least not at that same stage. Like, and I'm not I'm not here saying that men don't have a standards and chronological standards aren't important to mine as well. Of course they are. But it's just,

Zoe Glen  
I guess, it's like there's still pressure, but there is different amount of pressure and the like, Man and different kinds of pressure. Yeah, like the man being, never woman is portrayed differently to the woman being with another man, which that's the other thing is like, she kind of spends the entire book going between trying to win her ex husband back and trying to, like attract a man who I think was her neighbour. 

Yeah. A neighbour that her husband argued with in the past, like, it's like this kind of frantic, trying to like, play self back in relation to a man to man. Yeah. Whereas he went off with a younger woman.

Billie Grace 
Yeah. And that's like, cause he wanted to Yeah, so Well, anyway, that's, that's that's days of abandonment. That's a project that is happening and therefore I have many unanswered thoughts.

Zoe Glen  
we hope you enjoyed our...lengthly summary.

Billie Grace  
Yeah. I'm like, but I think I mean, yeah, I guess this is, you know, why is feminism integral to the Not-God complex? I don't know. But it is everything that we do I feel like is Yeah, somehow. And that's,

Zoe Glen  
that's where the feminist theme is showing up at our work at this current moment in time.

Billie Grace  
Yes. And past though, we were going to talk about also is like, we have branded ourselves as doing some witchy stuff. Yeah.

Zoe Glen  
Yes, witch vibes (tm).

Billie Grace  
Which I think we can argue is also quite  feminist. Yeah. Uh, yeah,

Zoe Glen  
I think there is definitely something about reclaiming narratives in looking at witchcraft. And what does it mean to be a witch? and all of that kind of thing? witch trials? Yeah. Like,

Billie Grace  
we were looking a lot at pagan. Yeah. tradition. Yeah. So

Zoe Glen  
we've kind of got a bit of both going on that we're, we've been looking at, like, um, witch trials and what that was culturally and where there are parallels to current cultural things. And also looking at kind of the more like, spirituality, paganism. polytheist side of things. Yeah, it's really interesting, I think, because there's a lot of kind of, I guess, like, accidental feminism, or not accidental, but, um, feminist narratives from from from before feminism would have been a political term, you know? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  
I'm just thinking I'm like, about, cuz Actually, I don't think we've really properly talked about why witch vibes (tm) is feminist in our opinion. Like, just between ourselves. It just sort of feels feels that

Zoe Glen  
I mean, there's something about like, the idea of Yeah, the, like, female goddesses being the big, like, the main ones in paganism? Because Yeah, you have Brigid, who is the goddess of like, basically summer slash spring slash fertility slash....other things We made a film thing to go watch it. And then you have Beira, who is the goddess of winter, basically, this is kind of a simplification of it. And there's lots of different like, kind of different interpretations of it from different branches of specifically Celtic paganism. Yeah, but there is something about your kind of like two main figures being women. Which, yeah, feels

Billie Grace  
different from most modern organised religions.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah. And there's also in a lot of the kind of folklore and again, with the finger of beer, I like, a lot of kind of narratives about older women, which you don't really get in, like, popular culture or texts like that. Like, they're not always evil, or it's more like complex than that, you know? No,

Billie Grace  
that's true, actually. Yeah.

Zoe Glen  
It is true. We love paganism for its complex female characters.

Good writing.

Billie Grace  
good storytelling. Yeah. Good character progression. Yeah, give us your thoughts on why witchiness is feminist. Because we, because there's, it's like it is. It's obvious. And there's also, you know, things like, the witch trials were a direct attack on women who weren't conforming to societal norms. Ah,

Zoe Glen  
yeah, we could take this into queer theory as well. Yeah, we're not going to do that now though

Billie Grace  
Yeah, this is what I mean by it's like the just doing one half an hour episode on feminism and theatre. It feels absolutely impossible. To be honest. You're gonna hear more about this, this?

Zoe Glen  
Yeah. This is probably just going to be in whatever we talk about ever. This podcast is just us relating

various topics to witch vibes and gay vibes. That's it.

That's what this is 

Billie Grace  
Trying to be academic about witchiness and gayness. That is, that is what's happening.

Zoe Glen  
Yes.

Billie Grace  
But it's, you know, it is true, and it is what our work I think it's fueled by. Yeah. And what kind of actually my life is fueled by not to be dramatic about it but I think it is. It kind of has to be. Yeah. So do you want to talk a little bit about? Yeah. So

Zoe Glen  
speaking of trying to be academic about things,

Billie Grace  
yeah. Yes,

Zoe Glen  
I kind of thought that a useful piece of theory, try and give this some sense of being tied together is something from Rebecca Solnit, which is in I believe, recollections of my non existence. If anybody wants to look it up, I'll write it in the description thingy. But she talks about how for, to be able to say that somebody's voice is truly being heard. They have to have audibility, credibility and consequence. So audibility in that there is a chance for them to speak, that they have some sort of platform that they have some sort of opportunity to share their perspective, credibility that they are believed about their experiences, what their experiences are, how that affect them, all of that, and consequence that actual actions or change happen as a result of what they say. So I guess you can kind of look at all of the like, especially like, books and plays and stuff that we've discussed through that lens of being like, Can you say no, that actually has a woman's voice being heard? If it doesn't do all of those things that like point for the voice to speak, and that it is believed? And that there is some effect of that?

Billie Grace  
Yeah. Because I think the downfall of many of these characters even is the credibility factor. Yeah, or rather, and the credibility factor then account for the lack of consequence. And that's like, within the character within the fictional world are also, you know, that that gets reflected into reality. And, like, the fact that there are so many of these characters around are kind of proof of the lack of credibility and consequence.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah, in the narratives of like, female hysteria.

Billie Grace  
Yeah.

Zoe Glen  
Like, that's what that is to basically.

Billie Grace
That is what that is. Yeah, absolutely. I don't properly remember something that bell hooks wrote, but feel like  that I maybe made a note or something that I thought was interesting. Yes. So I'll read the passage that I this is from All About Love New Visions by bell hooks. And I've only read a little bit and in the introduction, she says she's talking about male fantasy as in literally just fantasy fiction. She says male fantasy is seen as something that can create real reality, whereas female fantasy is regarded as pure escape. Hence, the romance novel remains the only domain in which women speak of love without with any degree of authority. And she goes on to talk about, basically, how, like how much more women have to fight, or I guess anyone who is not a man has to fight, to be heard, and to be relieved in their writing in their academic abilities? Um, yeah, actually, which I think what I'm thinking about is what we were talking about the other day, where you said that one of your lecturers told you gave you the option of easy literature written or not literature, easy theory, written by white men? Yeah. Or more complex theory written by not white men.

Zoe Glen  
And, yeah, and then you kind of get that with, like, all the intersections of like that, like it is you have to work hard to be heard as a woman, but then also, like, when that intersects with race or sexuality, or Yeah, or anything, like it's just like, even more, if you are not a straight white man, then good luck.

Billie Grace  
No, maybe we should be clear that it's if you know, it's if you're not a cis-het white man. Yes.

Zoe Glen  
The other point that I just remembered is that, um, so many of like, if you read some theory about theatre practitioners, they refer to their students as he always, right. Yeah. Always.

Like, they're just, they're just describing like, an exercise, you know, it's like, the student stands opposite the other student, and then they do this. And instead of referring to them as they or the student, or giving, like, specific, like, we're going to call this student this and this student this abuse hypothetical, or really, some people are just like, student is he? Like, it's like, I don't know, like, boats or whatever over objects were, like, consistently gendered and languages like in languages that aren't English where there's like, yeah, like,

Billie Grace  
Oh, no, no, it's true. I remember actually. And now I can't remember for the life of me what that was, I remember being given an expert from something in our first year. And I think it was written by a woman. And it was the only it was the first text then. And it has since remained the only text that I have ever read that refer that does that, but refers to any hypothetical student as a she. Yeah. And I know that a lot of more contemporary writing, tries to use they, for obvious reasons. But it was interesting just to be... I'll have to see if I can remember what that text was.

Zoe Glen  
Everything we've forgotten will be in the show notes.

Billie Grace

If not, did you like if not, if I don't if I actually can't find it? And if you know, a text about theatre, in which the student is referred to as she, it's probably that one. Yeah, please let me know. Like, it's probably that text... Or at least that writer, but yeah, so um, how long have we been recording?

Zoe Glen

 35 minutes? we've started to wrap this up. And, then um, we've talked for over 10 minutes, but it's fine.

Billie Grace  
Yeah, no, it's fine. It's cool. Um, look, I don't know if we said much other than we have anger towards the patriarchy. Especially. Yeah. Like,

Zoe Glen  
we wish we could talk about good, feminist practice in theatre. But um,

yeah, it's quite patriarchal

So there's some rambles about the patriarchy, and then some vague chats about how we attempt to do feminist themes.

Billie Grace  
I think it would be nice to talk at some point, in another episode, more about navigating the patriarchal system in drama school. Yeah. And then in the industry. Yeah. but we don't have time for that, now.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah. We also,

Billie Grace  
stay tuned for some gay stuff. Yeah.

Zoe Glen  
and some witch stuff, there will be chats on them, and kind of, I guess, how this intersects with queer stuff. And also I think we do recognise that, um, gender is a complex thing, and therefore, sexism is a complex thing, Yes, and gender discrimination is a complex thing. That's...that's another half hours chat at least

this is introduction, to feminist rambles

 

Billie Grace  
An introduction to the amount of anger we have.

 

Zoe Glen  
We hope you enjoyed.

 

Billie Grace  
Yeah. If you are a theatre practitioner, who would like to join in on these kinds of chats, reach out to us - we don't have a particular plan for what we want to do in these episodes

Zoe Glen  
send us an email

Billie Grace  
We are open to chatting to people, 

Zoe Glen  
send us an instagram message, tweet us,  whatever you want. 

Billie Grace  
These are things you can also follow. Yeah, if you'd like. Yeah.

Zoe Glen  
We'll be back in some form next month,

Billie Grace
we will. In the meantime, please, enjoy any update on this project that I am doing, because we're about to announce it today on the day of recording. And, and I've now spoken about it. Yeah. So that's happening. Now. You can also, if you haven't yet, go watch our film.

Zoe Glen  
Yeah. And you can listen to episode one. If you haven't already listened to Episode One of this podcast. Yeah, this episode might make more sense. If you've listened to episode one.

Billie Grace  
Possibly. We mostly just introduce ourselves 

Zoe Glen  
that is there. If you haven't already listened to it, subscribe to our podcast. I think you can do that.

Billie Grace
I think we can do that. I think if you're on apple, you can give us like ratings and reviews. Every podcast that I ever listened to always say that that's like the biggest help. Yeah. So yeah, do that. 

Zoe Glen  
That would be nice to us

 

Billie Grace  
that that would be great. We'd love that. And yeah,

Zoe Glen  
we will speak to you next month.

Billie Grace  
Bye.