Theatre needs to change. Everywhere – in its boardrooms, on its stages, throughout its repertoires – it could be so much more successful at reflecting the gender balance of the world it seeks to represent.
This is a book about why change matters, its benefits – artistic, commercial, ethical and social – and how, with everyone's help, we can actually achieve it. From small shifts, such as how you run your meetings, or what's on the shelves of your school library, to rethinking concepts as huge as the art we inherit, how we attribute excellence, and the constraints we unwittingly pass on to the next generation, there are things we can all do to bring about change.
In this book, you'll find provocations to help you consider your current practices and their effects, challenge unconscious biases and identify opportunities for change, plus strategies and tools to help you decide where best to focus your efforts, to convince others why change matters, and to achieve meaningful, lasting success.
Eye-opening, empowering and inspiring, All Change Please is a book for anyone who loves theatre. Whether you make it, teach it, watch it or study it, everyone has their own unique part to play in helping refresh, reshape and re-imagine the industry as truly diverse, equal and inclusive.
'We are the industry. If things will shift it is down to us, all of us, to make that happen. We all need to reflect on how we work, how we think, and how we make choices. That's what will drive the greatest change.'
'Lucy Kerbel's work has become increasingly pivotal in helping the entire industry raise its game... this illuminating book answers the cynic, informs the impartial, converts the supporter into an activist and equips them all; not in a rallying cry of anger-fuelled idealism, but in a calm, pragmatic and clear-eyed way.' Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, from his Foreword
Since 2011, Lucy Kerbel and her organisation Tonic Theatre have been working with companies and individuals across the theatre industry to support them in achieving greater gender equality in their work and workforces. Her first book, 100 Great Plays for Women, is also published by Nick Hern Books.
Blog Post: Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, on why theatre needs to change: 'Story has always been the lens through which the human race has understood itself, and the work of the storyteller – though transient – can be seismic in the moment and profound in its historical and political impact. Those storytellers, however, have almost entirely come from just one half of humanity.' Read more >>
'An empowering read that leaves you feeling both able and ready to take some form of action... there is still a huge amount of work to do, but Kerbel breaks it down, making equality feel a little closer to our grasp'
'A fantastic starting point for anyone looking to help achieve real lasting change in gender equality in theatre, at any level... definitely one for the bookshelf'
Lucy Kerbel is the Director of Tonic Theatre. Prior to founding Tonic in 2011, she worked as a theatre director. It was while directing around the UK that she became interested in the question of gender equality in theatre. Recognising the industry would need better support if it were to achieve greater gender balance in its workforces and repertoires, she founded Tonic to go some way towards achieving this. She now heads Tonic’s work across theatre, the performing arts and wider creative industries.
She is the author of two books, 100 Great Plays for Women and All Change Please, published by Nick Hern Books. She is a regular speaker on women in the arts, and is on the board of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for women playwrights.
Rufus Norris is a British theatre and film director. He has been Director of the National Theatre, London, since 2015.