What We Did
“The focus of our Advance work has been about working with pregnant actors. As well as the learning we’ve done about admin, health and safety etc. it’s made us really interrogate much bigger creative questions too. What do audiences feel about watching a pregnant actor on stage? What does it mean for the character? How do writers, actors, designers and directors talk about pregnancy in creative terms? All bold, empowering questions that will influence our work, both practically and artistically.”
We put out an anonymous survey for actors to fill in. We spoke to various HR, legal, and healthcare experts. We spoke to casting directors, directors and actors. We researched current advice and working practices.
What We Learned
That although there are some examples of good practice, there is a large amount of uncertainty around the idea of employing pregnant actors. Some organisations are misinformed, nervous, or even obstructive to the idea.
What We’re Doing in Response to What We Learned
The big thing we felt we’d like to do is create a pregnancy pack. This will be a document that goes through all of the considerations and responsibilities for both actors and organisations. We hope to cover things like: who an actor should tell and when; what processes a company should have in place; issues of health, insurance, contracts, safety etc, as well as looking at creative choices and questions of taste and performance.
Is This Work a Step Towards a Bigger Goal?
Our aim is to be a brilliant employer for pregnant actors. And to disseminate the way in which we do this across the whole theatre industry, with particular focus on touring companies.