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Festival celebrating inspirational women from theatre and film returns to MK Gallery this month

Milton Keynes based theatre company, The Play’s The Thing, will be putting women and local young creatives centre stage at its four-day festival, ‘Taking the Stage and Screen’, which will celebrate inspirational women from theatre and film at MK Gallery from 30th March to 2nd April 2022.

The theatre company is a true advocate of championing women playwrights and fighting for gender parity in theatre. It curated its first ‘Taking the Stage’ event in 2019 to put women into the spotlight and make them visible. The 2022 festival returns this month to continue redressing the balance, focussing on empowering women within the arts and celebrating their achievements.

Funded by Arts Council England, this exciting four-day programme will showcase newly commissioned work from female playwrights, including Chloe Todd Fordham, whose play ‘Tapestry’ will headline the festival, plus local writers Shirley Jones, Lisa Lovell, Carly Halse and The Play’s The Thing’s Artistic Director, Rosemary Hill.

Local female filmmaker, Nana Oguntola, will curate an evening of African films; Maureen Beattie, Polly Kemp and other key female industry figures will hold thought-provoking debates and conversations; and award-winning playwrights April De Angelis and Abi Zakarian will discuss how we can develop theatre in the future to be more diverse and inclusive.

Shirley Jones - Milton Keynes based playwright

Committed to working with young people and giving them access to the arts, The Play’s the Thing is giving the stage to the next generation of theatre makers from Milton Keynes College, who are developing a new performance with help from female-led, multi-award-winning Haste Theatre Company.

Alongside Milton Keynes Theatre, The Play’s The Thing has put together a Creative Youth Board made up of local young artists, who will devise a new piece with Georgia Tillery Randak from Milton Keynes based, Black Sheep Collective, and perform at the festival.

Rosemary Hill Artistic Director at The Play’s The Thing Theatre Company says: “Our four-day festival enables those with a passion for the theatre industry to be inspired by the work of the new and more experienced playwrights and directors, while getting a real insight into the industry via the important panel discussions.

“This is our chance to celebrate all the great women in theatre, who inspire, mentor, show strength, creativity and passion in their role within our great industry. It also gives us the opportunity to show our commitment to continually pushing the boundaries.

“We need to champion all women within the industry and the next generation of young female talent and make it our responsibility to get ourselves seen and heard.”

Further information and tickets are available via MK Gallery’s website by clicking here.

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