Advance Symposium 2016 hosted by Central

Advance is working with England’s leading performance companies, transforming their aspiration for gender equality into reality.

Advance is an innovative six month programme designed by Tonic Theatre and led by its director, Lucy Kerbel. With support from Paul Hamlyn and Arts Council England twenty leading performing arts organisations have taken part in the programme which has, so far, been run for two cohorts in 2014 and 2016. Participating in Advance has enabled theatre, dance and opera organisations to identify and understand the root causes of gender imbalance within their own companies and art forms. Advance has supported each company as they identify a key question for their organisation and develop the means to move toward meaningful changes for gender equality.

As academic partners, Central’s research team has worked on Advance with both 2014 and 2016 cohorts, tracking the process and progress of the work in the context of broader discussions around equality issues, offering wider cultural perspectives and more focused reflections as the impact of the work for each organization develops beyond the initial targets of the intensive six month programme.

For Advance 2016 Central’s Professor Gilli Bush-Bailey and Dr Katharine Low were joined by Research Associate Dr Lisa Woynarski. As academic partners Central were pleased to host both the first launch of the Advance website in 2014 and the new website for 2016.

Read a full account of the Advance process, its aims, and the benefits experienced by all the participating companies.

More information about the ongoing work Central’s research team can be found by visiting Tonic's website.

For interviews with artistic directors at the NT, Clean Break, Sadlers Wells and Northern Stage  followed by footage from the Symposium hosted by Central in September 2016, see the Tonic Advance 2016 YouTube playlist.

Photo: Advance 2016 symposium hosted by Central Sept 2016, courtesy of Paul Woodhouse

Research at Central