A transatlantic discussion on Equity in Theatre


Featuring Frontenac House and The Glasgow Women’s Library

live-streamed between Glasgow and Calgary

July 7, 2016, at 11:30 am, Calgary time (MST)
Live at the Doolittle Studio, University of Calgary, Craigie Hall

To celebrate the publication of Aphra by Nancy Jo Cullen, Alexandria Patience and Rose Scollard, Frontenac House in collaboration with The Glasgow Women’s Library is presenting a live-streamed discussion on Equity in Theatre. Join us at this free event on Thursday, July 7 at 11:30 am Calgary time at the Doolittle Studio at the University of Calgary School of Fine Arts.

April Viczko, the new head of Drama at the University of Calgary, will open the event with a welcoming speech.

The Glasgow Women’s Library will present a panel of speakers including Christine Hamilton, Alison Peebles and perhaps Anna Birch on equity in theatre. Alexandria Patience will be the moderator.           

The Calgary audience will respond with comments and questions moderated by Rose Scollard. Calgary participants will include Michele Decottignies of the Calgary Congress for Equity and Diversity in the Arts, Sharon Stevens, artist and activist and April Viczko head of U of C Drama.

Equity in Theatre

Maenad Productions, Western Canada’s first woman-centred theatre, was formed by Cullen, Patience and Scollard in 1986 precisely because there were so few opportunities in theatre for women. As Rina Fraticelli reported in Women in Theatre a few years before, between 1977 and 1981 only 10 percent of produced playwrights in Canada were women. In its 15 years of operation Maenad provided countless opportunities for women as playwrights, directors, actors and other working roles.

In 2016 things have improved for women in theatre, but the most recent “PGC Annual Theatre Production Survey, 2015/16” found that  64% of the nation’s staged productions were written by men, 26% by women, and 11% by mixed-gender partnerships. Of course, it is not just women who are under-represented in theatre and we expect the discussion to extend to other marginalized groups, including people of colour, Aboriginal people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ.

In Canada, there are several organizations dedicated to equity in theatre. The Equity in Theatre section of the Playwrights Guild of Canada (, led by Rebecca Burton and Laine Zisman Newman, is a multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to remedy existing gender and related inequities in the theatre industry.

In Calgary, The Calgary Congress for Equity and Diversity in the Arts ( headed by Michele Decottignies and Jenna Rodgers is working energetically to foster a broader appreciation for diverse artists, art forms and arts practices in Calgary’s professional arts sector.



Aphra cover

Aphra book cover

Aphra Behn had travelled to the Americas, spied for King Charles the Second and spent time in debtors’ prison all by the age of 30. In 1670, the production of her play The Forced Marriage launched her as a playwright and the first English woman writer to earn a living solely through her pen. For this, the society of her day banished her and her work to oblivion. Her voice was effectively silenced for over 300 years. Few people knew she had ever existed.

APHRA is an interpretive picture intended to spur interest in her life and works.

Historical fantasy drama – 3F   2 Act (90 mins

Aphra  Drama, 92 pages, Release date March 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-927823-45-3 paperback, $18.95,
ISBN: 978-1-927823-46-0 pdf, $9.95,
ISBN: 978-1-927823-47-7 HTML, $9.95,



Glasgow Women’s Library is a vibrant information hub housing a lending library, archive collections and contemporary and historical artefacts relating to women’s lives, histories and achievements.



Frontenac House is a dynamic publishing house based in Calgary, Alberta. Since the launch in 2000, they have published a wide variety of titles in categories like poetry, aviation, political satire, fiction, art and photography. Frontenac is best known for an annual Quartet of poetry books which launch in September.



Drama at the School of Creative and Performing Arts is an exciting place for theatre. For almost fifty years, hundreds of young artists have been challenged, nurtured and inspired in a climate of creative engagement and study. At the very heart of the theatre experience exists the process of exploration. Theatre unlocks and examines those things, large and small, which test, tease, provoke, outrage, raise eyebrows, raise blood pressure and invoke a sense of wonder.

Within the framework of this dynamic of investigation, Drama encourages students to collaborate, challenge themselves and grow. Our program offers an integrated blend of intellectual rigor and artistic practice that provides students with a profound cross-disciplinary experience.


Additional Resources Scotland

Alexandria Patience

Christine Hamilton

Alison Peebles

Anna Birch


Additional Resources Canada

Rose Scollard

Playwrights Guild of Canada

The Calgary Congress for Equity and Diversity in the Arts




Lyn Cadence, 403.465.2345,