UNTitled Theatre’s next project is a partnership between Laura Bates of The Everyday Sexism Project, an organisation that exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced on a day to day basis. Shocked by the thousands of entries from young people under the age of 18 and the ongoing campaign to make sex education compulsory in the UK, UNTitled began working with talented playwright Suhayla El Bushra, (The Suicide, National Theatre. The Kilburn Passion, Tricycle Theatre. Cuckoo, Unicorn Theatre. Pigeon, Royal Court Theatre.) and renowned Chickenshed associate director, Rachel Yates. Collecting the testimonies of over 200 young people from across the UK to develop HotDogs, a new play and workshop focusing on their experiences and encounters of sexism and gender inequality both at school, at home and in public as a way to reflect and address the fears, pressures and insecurities they often face today.
Our production will tour to schools and venues around the UK in 2017 and will serve as an opportunity to engage with young people on issues such as slut shaming, online pornography, the sharing of information via social media, sexual objectification and consent. Addressing their growing concerns as they are forced to deal with difficult and potentially damaging situations alone with little or no guidance.
Our collaboration with The Everyday Sexism Project is a way to help reach their aims to expand into education and outreach work at schools in order to tackle the problem with young people before attitudes become too normalised and ingrained. The project will serve to promote positive social change and give young people the confidence, resources and tools to manage and tackle sexism, both inside and outside of school and as they enter higher education and / or the workplace. This is an ARC Stockton commission supported by DepArts and The Arts Council.
We are also pleased to announce that UNTitled will be delivering this exciting and ground breaking project in partnership with the PSHE Association and Brook Charity.
The partnership with UNTitled Theatre provides a unique opportunity to explore the issues raised by the book (Everyday Sexism…) in a meaningful way, bringing the messages from the book to life and with the opportunity to give powerful messages to young people across the country. Of course, this kind of work, based on such powerful material, has to be handled sensitively. It needs to be balanced and serve both young men and young women. We are therefore delighted at UNTitled’s commitment to balanced, nuanced teaching, and their approach to us to work with them to ensure that lessons supporting the performance are taught in line with our best practice principles. As the leading national organisation for PSHE education, we are well placed to offer this advice and are delighted to be working with UNTitled to do so.” Joe Hayman, PSHE Association Chief Executive
‘A vital initiative with the potential to impact many young people’s lives for the better.’ Mulberry School for Girls
“The Everyday Sexism Project has received over 10,000 testimonies from school and university age girls in the past two years alone, detailing a daily gauntlet of sexism, sexual harassment and objectification. In our many visits to schools up and down the country, discussions with students have clearly revealed a lack of information and support in the classroom to equip both girls and boys to deal with these pressures and influences, from the media to online porn. There is widespread confusion about consent and healthy relationships amongst this age group, which is statistically at the highest risk for experiencing domestic violence. More worryingly still, many girls and young women are unaware of their rights, or what they are legally protected from, and frequently describe staying silent because they believe such behaviour is ‘normal’ and they have no choice but to put up with it. By opening up discussion on these vital issues, the theatre project proposed by UNTitled would be an extremely positive step towards giving young people the tools and opportunities they desperately need to analyse the information they are bombarded with. This topic is chronically under discussed in schools, and, in a country where one in four women is a victim of domestic violence, our young people are in desperate need of the information and ideas that could help them be the generation to break the cycle.” Laura Bates
Laura Bates is the founder of the award-winning Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 50,000 people’s experiences of daily gender imbalance. She writes regularly for the Guardian, the Independent and Grazia magazine and her work has appeared in the Financial Times, the New Statesman, the Times and Red Magazine among others. Bates works regularly with UK MPs, businesses, police forces, schools and universities as well as appearing regularly in the national and international press and on radio and television. She is also Contributor at Women Under Siege, a New York-based project working against the use of rape as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide. She was named one of Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Women of the Year 2013, a Sunday Times Woman of the Year 2013 and a rising star of 2014 by the Guardian
Suhayla El Bushra writes for film, TV and stage. Previous plays include Pigeons at The Royal Court, Cuckoo at The Unicorn and The Kilburn Passion at The Tricycle. She is currently under commission for Clean Break Theatre company. Suhayla was a core writer on the teen soap Hollyoaks and has also written for Doctors.