THE LIST: Female, Non-Binary and Trans Technical Artists

Theatre Network Australia (TNA) is proud to release a directory of Designers for live performance prioritising gender equity, encouraging theatre makers to hire more diversely in the areas of Lighting Design, Sound Design and Composition, and Video Design and Animation.

Initiated by Emma Valente, Lighting/Video Designer and Co-Artistic Director of independent theatre company, THE RABBLE, compiling this list was a response to the significant gender inequity within the technical designs in the live performance sector.

Valente’s frustration grew as she observed the male-dominated Helpmann award nominees, especially in the technical designs. “In 2017, 87% of composers, sound, and lighting designers hired by main stage companies were men!” Valente said.

“There are complex reasons of course, but a simple solution that I can personally work towards is increasing visibility so that people who are in positions of power can see the people who are qualified for these roles.”

Valente hopes that this list will give visibility to Female, Non-Binary, and Trans composers, lighting, video, and sound designers across the country through an easy to access resource for theatre companies, casting directors, collectives and individual directors; break down the misconception that there are no ‘Female, Non-Binary, and Trans composers, lighting, video and sound designers across the country, or that only men have the experience or technical knowledge to fill these jobs; and inspire theatre companies and collaborators to think differently about the artists they include in their projects.

“It’s a small piece in the larger puzzle of achieving gender parity in technical design for performance. I want us to celebrate the achievements of the artists on the list, create strategies to reduce the drop out rate of young Female, Non-Binary, and Trans artists early in their careers, and connect artists so they can share skills, develop creative connections, find mentors, and ask for support.” Valente

Providing the platform and managing the directory is one of the ways TNA supports and facilitates sector development initiatives and projects by independent artists.

“Artists are taking leadership – gender inequity is an issue that needs addressing – so we need to back these initiatives, and challenge ourselves and our practices for culture to shift.” Nicole Beyer, Executive Director of TNA, said.

This list is designed as a resource for theatre companies, collectives, and individuals, to hire more diversely in these areas. The list was built through Valente’s networks and is therefore more Melbourne-centric for now. The list is in no way exhaustive, and is a live document that both Valente and Theatre Network Australia expect to grow and change.

Directory can be found here

To join the list or update your details, or for more information, contact Communications Coordinator, Jamie Lewis.