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Liverpool writer joins Women in Theatre Lab initiative

Liverpool playwright Ginni Manning is set to join the pioneering Women in Theatre Lab after being nominated for support by the Everyman and Playhouse.

The Women in Theatre Lab exists to help tackle the underrepresentation of women in the theatre industry.

The scheme, inspired by America’s successful Women’s Project Lab and Australia’s Women in Theatre Programme, comes after a wide-ranging Women in Theatre survey which found that post-pandemic, almost none of the support for women in the industry that had been promised has materialised, and that sex inequality is in danger of actually increasing if action isn’t taken.

Around 1,000 emerging and mid-career women writers applied for the inaugural Women in Theatre Lab, from which a cohort 10 have been chosen to receive support from idea to production, and which encompasses seed and full commission funding, advice from leading female playwrights, business and craft toolkits and a showcase.

Meanwhile in a ‘phase 2’ of the initiative four ‘theatre partners’ – Everyman and Playhouse, Theatr Clywd, plus Fuel and Tamasha theatre companies – were asked to nominate a female playwright each that they would like to support.

The Everyman and Playhouse chose Manning, who had already been shortlisted after applying for the scheme.

Funding will be provided jointly by the theatres and the Women in Theatre Lab.

Manning, who studied creative writing at the University of Liverpool and is a creative facilitator at the city’s Writing on the Wall, was part of the inaugural Everyman and Playhouse Playwright Development Programme in 2015.

Above: The Liverpool Everyman. Top: Ginni Manning.

She says: “It’s amazing to have the opportunity to develop as a playwright with the Everyman and Women’s Theatre Lab. I completed the Everyman Playwright Development Programme when it was first opened up to older writers in 2015, and the theatre has been a source of inspiration and community since then.

“We had our first Women in Theatre Lab on Saturday and heard from Jennifer Tuckett, the programme leader, playwright April de Angelis and writer/performer Joanna Scanlan.

“It was so insightful to learn from their experiences, both in the craft of writing and navigating the industry as it changes to reflect the need to hear underrepresented voices.”

Everyman and Playhouse new works associate Tommo Fowler adds: “With industry reports still highlighting the systemic gender divide in our sector, initiatives like the Women in Theatre Lab are a vitally important part of a sustainable playwriting ecology.

“We’re delighted to support Ginni in deepening her craft and developing a new script alongside such trailblazing artists, as part of our commitment to nurturing vibrant, searching new plays for audiences in Liverpool.”


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