Power Play tells women's
stories of social injustice.
Our projects are rooted in women's lived experiences of cultural fault lines. There is immense power in these stories, particularly coming from voices of people who have been ignored. Around each project's central experiences, we build frameworks for storytelling and impact: these elements are often inextricably linked. Our projects create platforms for female-identifying creatives and work towards intersectional gender equality. We have produced Fringe First award-winning, Offie-nominated theatre, documentary film that has reached hundreds of thousands, and research and campaigns supported by MPs that have lead to changes in funding and monitoring from some of the UK's largest Arts organisations. In 2020, we were nominated for the DBACE Social Entrepreneurship Award. Our aim is to ask audiences to watch more attentively and compassionately, and empower them with the tools to demand change.
"They echo the Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger; feminist artists who have protested the injustices of the world through words" - Exeunt
We want to see the breadth of stories, lenses, gazes on stage and screen widen and combat the cultures of exclusivity and inaccessibility in our industries. Our aim is to undo not reinforce barriers to access, and we think a crucial aspect of this is to listen and self-critique in order to de-centre. We (co-founders Polly and Sophie) think it is important to acknowledge our youth and privilege as White, middle class women, particularly when we're working in communities who have faced traumas or disadvantages that we do not share. Regardless of dedicated research, we will be guests within these communities. We aim to work with our participants as creative collaborators not 'subjects'. We have developed the following procedures:
We will be alert to the material we'e dealing with, and be prepared to step aside if there is another individual who is more appropriate to tell that story
When recruiting, we will prioritise applicants who have face barriers to access
We will pay subjects in line with all other creative crew
We will not recruit solely from our networks
We will accommodate caring responsibilities wherever possible
We will ensure that the Equity Safe Spaces are displayed across workplaces
We will be as transparent as possible
We will listen and learn
We're grateful to have worked with or been supported by:
We aim to create dynamic, surprising platforms for women's stories of social injustice. Our work is often site-specific, and deals with themes of violence against women and female incarceration. In 2018, we commissioned and produced four new plays to be staged inside a domestic flat, exploring subjects of domestic violence and sexual assault. We won awards including a Filipa Bragança Award and Sit-Up nomination. The development of these plays drew on verbatim processes and workshops with charities including Tender and Dramatic Momentum. In 2019 we took our play FUNERAL FLOWERS, on an Offie-nominated London Tour, co-Produced by Harts Theatre. Inspired by the experiences of a former inmate of Holloway Prison, this play followed Angelique growing up in care and hoping to become a florist. In 2019 we developed MARY MARY, drawing drew on Early Modern Witch Trial Testimonies, for a sell-out Run at The Cockpit. In 2020 we've conducted video interviews with survivors of image-based sexual abuse, edited into a video on Now This.
"Tackling the power dynamics of sex ... leads to rich, unsettling drama ... skilfully crafted and wittily observed" - Sally Stott (The Scotsman)
In 2018, we launched a project to overturn "the 2-to-1 Problem", the finding that the UK's best-funded theatres employ one woman for every two men. We developed graphic-design activism for print and online with Adapt, events with The Pink Protest and were featured on The Guilty Feminist. In 2019 we launched the world's first multivariate analysis of gender at Fringe Level, WOMEN ON THE FRINGES. This study into gender and pay inequalities at the Edinburgh Fringe was released in The Scotsman, The Telegraph, The Stage. It was presented to ACE, who later unveiled a landmark new £2.5million Fringe Fund, and to The Fringe Society, who supported further research. In 2020 we set up #MyImageMyChoice a campaign to change UK law on image-based sexual abuse with activist filmmakers Another Body. Our work on this has been featured in a report by the Law Commission, supported by cross-parliamentary MPs including Maria Miller, Jess Phillips and Baroness Nicky Morgan, and the APPG for Digital Regulation and Responsibility.
"We are proud to have worked closely with Power Play on this important piece of research" - Shona McCarthy (Fringe Society)