Gender and Ageing in the Cultural Industries began in 2019 with a pilot project working with RepresentAge theatre group, who were in rehearsal for a new play that seeks to challenge attitudes to women and ageing in theatre.
We conducted a focus group with four of the women actors, aged from 50 to 70, all of whom are experienced in stage and screen work in the UK and the US. We focus on the overarching theme of ‘experiences of ageing’, including the types of role women actors are offered, the access they have to work in their chosen profession, the presence of older women actors on stage and screen and in positions of power within the creative industries, and their experiences of embodied ageing.
This project has now been extended to a larger project funded by the ISRF which will use creative writing workshops to examine and begin to challenge the workings of ageism in the cultural industries. Our project brings cross-field cultural workers into close partnership with academics to promote social inclusion.