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Royal Court Hosts 'Day of Action' in Response to Weinstein Revelations

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Royal Court Hosts 'Day of Action' in Response to Weinstein Revelations

The Royal Court Theatre Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone has programmed a day of action in response to the revelations about Harvey Weinstein.

Featherstone released the following statement:

"Following last week's revelations concerning Harvey Weinstein it is time to confront the abuses of power that have been occurring in our own industry for years.

"I tweeted last week to ask what we should be doing and I was overwhelmed by the open and candid response from the many people who got in touch with me, sharing their stories and suggesting courses of action. What shocked me most was how many of those who approached me were fearful they'd be named and also of the significant negative implications speaking out could have for them. Despite those fears they wanted to have their voices heard to prevent such abuses happening to those coming after them.

"Having set up and led major arts organisations over the last 20 years I have always had very clear policies on how to manage such abuses of power and how to empower my staff to have the confidence in dealing with and reporting such issues.

"Last year at the Royal Court we had a company-wide meeting - a Town Hall, on sexual harassment in the theatre. The outcome of this session was a mutually agreed verbal code of conduct that all Royal Court staff are very clear on. One which eliminates the so-called grey areas that so often allow people to get away with abuses of power. That session gave those who are subject to such abuses clear avenues to confidently take further action.

"Sexual harassment, predominately carried out by those in power to people in positions junior to them, is systemic. It is across every part of our society. If it is not dealt with in an open way we have no hope of change, and change must happen.

"On Saturday 28 October, 2017 we will be holding two events - an industry-wide Town Hall session, to pass on what we have learnt and the policies we agreed on from it, and to learn best practise from our peers. And a sharing - where those of you who wish to have your stories heard can have a space for them to be told. This event will be curated by Royal Court Associate Director Lucy Morrison drawing on the input of many of you who have so brilliantly offered up your support.

"The Royal Court exists to tell the stories that are otherwise unheard. We have therefore created an online forum where you can safely, and (if you choose), anonymously tell us your stories. Whether you consider it a big or small thing, if someone in a position of power over you has made you feel sexually compromised, or at all uncomfortable, then be brave, tell us what happened. We will take care of your story.

"As Erica Whyman said today in her article in The Stage 'I have a responsibility to make our theatre a place where none of us needs to think twice before calling out and addressing behaviour that we all already know is unacceptable'

"So come on let's end this bullshit"

"#speakout #greyareanomore"

For more details on the events mentioned, and to tell your story, see royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/no-grey-area-your-stories-heard.

The Royal Court Theatre is the writers' theatre. It is the leading force in world theatre for energetically cultivating writers - undiscovered, emerging and established.

Through the writers, the Royal Court is at the forefront of creating restless, alert, provocative theatre about now. We open our doors to the unheard voices and free thinkers that, through their writing, change our way of seeing.

Over 120,000 people visit the Royal Court in Sloane Square, London, each year and many thousands more see our work elsewhere through transfers to the West End and New York, UK and international tours, digital platforms, our residencies across London, and our site-specific work. Through all our work we strive to inspire audiences and influence future writers with radical thinking and provocative discussion. The Royal Court's extensive development activity encompasses a diverse range of writers and artists and includes an ongoing programme of writers' attachments, readings, workshops and playwriting groups. Twenty years of the International Department's pioneering work around the world means the Royal Court has relationships with writers on every continent.

Within the past sixty years, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Arnold Wesker, Ann Jellicoe, Howard Brenton, David Hare have started their careers at the Court.

Many others including Caryl Churchill, Athol Fugard, Mark Ravenhill, Simon Stephens, debbie tucker green, Sarah Kane; and, more recently, Lucy Kirkwood, Nick Payne, Penelope Skinner and Alistair McDowall, have followed.

The Royal Court has produced many iconic plays from Laura Wade's Posh to Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem and Martin McDonagh's Hangmen.

Royal Court plays from every decade are now performed on stage and taught in classrooms and universities across the globe.

It is because of this commitment to the writer that we believe there is no more important theatre in the world than the Royal Court.


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