We're incredibly thankful to everyone who's willing to support our campaign. If you'd like to add your voice and join our movement in creating opportunities and support for female playwrights, please click here or share our blog post on Medium.
Your story is unbelievable. Love the way you’re looking to make positivity out of it.
As an actor and member of the LGBT Community it is so important we stand together! Keep fighting!
I read your story and I am saddened, truly, that this happened to you. As one half of a female writing team, I can see so easily how much of your hearts and souls must have been poured in that story and I am sorry. But, on the bright side, what you are doing is wonderful and astounding and you should be commended. I'd love to be involved in some capacity. Good luck!
I salute you for telling your story.
I really could not believe what I was reading. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I can only begin to imagine how you are feeling right now. Thank you for being the fight, thank you for standing up for us all. This is exactly the response you need to take because this kind of shit is completely unacceptable and needs to stop NOW! I'm here supporting you and want to get involved any way I can xxx sending you all my love and support xxxx
As artistic director at Greenwich Theatre, and a passionate advocate for both equality of opportunity and of supporting new work and empowering new voices, I’d like to offer whatever I can that you need. As a company we would love to support and to be involved.
As a young Welsh female actor, writer, producer and Artistic Director, I want to push for progress. For radical change and to support #BurnBright for future female writers. So much love from my small Welsh company Chippy Lane Productions. Let’s break through those glass ceilings. Together. United. X
I'm here to support/be involved/be on the mailing list. I'm graduating from drama school next year and as a writer myself, I want to stand alongside artists who stand up for others. The industry needs to be united and us females have to stick together. I've got your back.
Appalled at how you’ve been treated by those who should have been supportive. Truly cannot believe this from two men who I thought I admired - not now. Good luck with your plans for Burn Bright and keep me in touch xx
I'm not in the creative arts. I'm a scientist and academic. Sadly this frequently happens in my world too, with noth discoveries and grant applications. Its seen as an unchangeable part of the culture. I don't believe that. I will fight to change mine, good luck with changing yours.
All the best with this fund and well done on speaking out
A great cause, good luck!
Such a disturbing turn of events. I feel very churned up for you both. I've never managed to get far into theatre, and this makes me give up hope. But I have great hope in you both! Take care and keep going, as I used to until my health failed (lol)
I am very sorry to read what you're both been through and admire your bravery in telling this story. I'm sure it will inspire others to speak up but also find a way to turn it into something positive.
I'm a theatre director specialising in developing new work and will gladly sit alongside a writer who might want to discuss a draft or have a coffee and a chat. A supportive outside eye - maybe I can help with recommendations of actors for readings, workspace or contacts if helpful.
No idea what I / we can do to help and support, but if there is anything I / we can do, happy to! :-) Glad you've spoken out about your experience and hope this helps drive positive change.
Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. Sending love xxx
As a musical theatre writer who has also been rather unceremoniously removed from a project with little explanation and no opportunity to speak to those ultimately responsible, I absolutely feel your pain, although my experience was nothing even close to your own in terms of the callousness and bullying with which you've been treated.
I blogged about it in a rather more obscure way after it happened a couple of years ago, focussing mainly on the way in which I found my way through to the other side (which I did eventually, although the scars will always be with me). I too, was left with the awkward conversations of ""How's the show going!"" and ""I thought you were writing the music, how come Arthur Darvill is listed as composer now?""I was also left with the fear that my career would be irreparably damaged by such an event.
Have no fear ladies, since that fateful event I have gone on to write a musical for the RSC and been commissioned by high profile regional theatres to write. Whilst it has hurt me emotionally and mentally, all it really did was help my career by making me smarter, stronger and safe in the knowledge that no matter what this industry throws at me I will survive it.
So this is just a little message of support really. You'll make it through and I have no doubt that as a result of such experiences you'll both be stronger, and if you don't come out of this experience with at least one commission to write a new show I'll eat my hat.
With love and support for your extraordinary courage.
Darren - darrenclarkmusic.co.uk
What you're done is hugely courageous, and I have so much respect for your tenacity. I love the idea of this scheme and can the wait to see where you take it, hopefully it will offer me as a devisor and others guidance in a world where we're swimming against the tide. Thank you.
So sad to read what has happened. How can they do this? Wishing you lots of success in this venture.
Here to support and care. I've had enough. It's been time for change too long for us to still not be witnessing change.
R E S P E C T
Sounds like a positive force for good, best of luck x
Emerging writer here terrified of perpetrating or facing similar conflicts in my own career. Would love the solidarity, wisdom and support of my sisters. Coz when women get together, shit gets done
At its very best performance is a creative and collaborative space that thrives on sharing and generosity. The privilege of participating in this exciting environment is balanced by the responsibility to ALWAYS recognise the hard work, time and brilliance of those involved. I hope Burn Bright will be the start of real difference in the sector to recognise and support creative work.
As a huge fan of all genres of theatre, but completely devoid of any understanding of the inner workings of it, I was completely shocked this could happen. Stay strong and I know you will get the credit and rewards you so clearly deserve in the future.
We burn brighter when we are connected to each other. This is the work that needs doing.
Film Producer always looking for more female writers.
Standing beside you. *burn the fucking house down* Patrick Romer
After reading your story, I'm angry for you about how you've been treated by the producers. We will try to donate and support #burnbright however we can. Onwards!
Adam and Jasmine.
I'd like to help any way I can. I'm not in a great place financially to be able to donate much at all, but would love to help in other ways. Thank you. Sending love and positivity x
Burn Bright is a fantastic idea, and I am so impressed that you are creating something positive out of such a crushing, unjust experience. I heartily support the project, and am excited to see it grow. As a female writer and actor who has also self-produced, I would love to be part of the forum, I would be happy to donate time to mentor and offer feedback and advice to writers less experienced than me, and I would be grateful for similar support from writers more experienced than me. Let's help each other to burn so bright no one can ignore us.
I'm disgusted you were treated in this way. I'm sorry I can only make a tiny donation (currently not in work) but I'm happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with my creative sisters.
Sending love, solidarity and support. I so identify with your story and love that you have used your experience for positive change with such integrity. So much needs to change in this industry and being the change we want to see in others and being part of the solution is the first step. You are incredible, brave, talented, inspirational women. The conversation is everything!
I am an actress and would love to support and collaborate in any way I can. I'm a new mum, so may have a baby strapped to me for a while. Sorry this happened to you. Thank you for having the courage to stand up for yourselves and all of us. X
Set fire. Burn bright. Fear the P怍troleuses because we're here and we refuse to be the ones reduced to ashes.
Am currently keeping abreast of the story surrounding Tree and have already spoken up in your defence.
Take it to court level so that you can win the case and the argument against this type of theft of work."
Be loud, be fearless and keep going! #burnbright
Reading your testimony got me enraged, shocked, saddened - but it also got me to want to fight harder than ever. In our line of work, sometimes fame and money prevail over anything else. But why are we creating art, holding a mirror to the human soul, cutting our flesh open and holding up our insides for all the world to see? Because we have hope. I have hope that, with more voices raised, we will always be able to get justice and recognition for our work. I have hope that the world is ready to listen.
So thank you.
And please know that what you're doing is brave, f*** fantastic and important.
This is an incredible response to an all too common occurrence in this industry. I whole heartedly stand with you.
Thank you from the depths of my heart for your bravery and commitment to being the change.
All power and love xx
I was horrified to hear how you're been treated, but also thrilled that you're creating positive change out of this negative situation. You go girls! We should all be there to support and fight for each other not elbow each other out of the way.
How can I help?
I am so sorry this happened to you. As a writer, this use of your work and lack of acknowledgement for it is just devastating. I will pledge my support, and look forward to seeing what you do next. It is totally shameful that industry leaders should show such disrespect to the next generation of talent.
Wish it had come out of something more positive but hey, who DOESN'T want a fairer workplace for women. The cost of litigation in this age of injustice is also... well... an injustice so I'm glad you got your costs covered. I'm just sorry that it happened.
Hello ladies. My god it takes guts to speak truth to power. You must feel sick to your stomachs right now, especially after that ridiculous response. I can't promise it will all be fine. How could I? But I can tell you that #BurnBright is so badly needed right now. Make your own work. Make your own noise. Make promises and keep them. Make honour and respect a trademark of women in creative industries. If they can't do it, we will.
Huge empathy and admiration for Howe you're coping with this enraging situation. As an experienced dramaturge, happy to volunteer some time to the time bank. Might also be able to be useful as someone who was Artistic Director in a regional producing house for a while. Good luck!
Thanks for being so open an honest about such a dreadful experience. You are truly inspirational.
I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to you and feel inspired by your courage in speaking out. The best way we can help each other to guard against and gracefully handle these situations, so we can move toward change, is to talk openly about them. I believe in you both! don't stop fighting, you owe it to yourselves and your work. X
Read your article and it really affected me. Thank you for being so brave, in not only speaking up, but also in making actual positive and active change like this. Wish you all the best!!
Horrified to read your story. Hope you get justice.
Sending you support ladies.
Sending a message of support ladies.
It is testament to your artistry that you are putting the work first, and that out of a gendered situation of unequal power and resources where you've been marginalised and unheard you're creating something shining, true and creative for all of us.
It is testament to your artistry that you are putting the work and creativity first and that out of a gendered situation of unequal power and resources where you've been marginalised, you've created something shining and and true and positive for all of us.
Hi Tori and Sarah, Firstly, I am so very sorry you're having to go through this appallingly unfair and abusive situation and I wish I could have donated far more towards the court case which I'm certain you'll win. 'm a photographer and if you need any new portraits for Burn Bright or production shots I will give you a shoot for free in support and you can just pay £20 a photo for the images you choose. Check out the portrait section on my website- www.natalyaheadshots.com Wishing you both all the very best and hopefully we can collaborate soon! Natalya x
DON’T give up the fight & know we are behind you, The truth will out in the end.
I'm a female playwright, and I want to be part of a community for writers who stand up for one another.
Burn Bright, Tori!
I've read your posts today and the responses from producers and am deeply saddened about what has happened to you. I've retweeted, shared, donated here and am sending love and strength. Creating Burn Bright is such a strong, brave and proactive response to an experience so unfair and unethical. Thank you for raising your heads above the parapet.
Massive respect for everything you are doing , so sorry how it happened. I would love to help out in any way I can,
I'm an actress singer and choreographer.
You are so bloody brave. So many women in the creative industries keep quiet for fear of never working again. Keep fighting
Having read your story on Medium, and as a woman who aspires to work in theatre, I completely support this cause.
Gutted to read your story. Good luck my friends - really excited by Burn Bright, and happy to help in any way I can. As a female theatre director I've had my moments of witnessing or being on the receiving end of abuses of power, though nothing like what you've experienced in this instance. So so glad you spoke up, and that you're putting that energy back into the industry in a positive way. Back you all the way!
I would love to follow this. I have a small qualification in Counselling and totally willing to meet anyone for free who needs to chat and offload in a safe space.
I'd love to get involved in any way possible! I think this is an amazing cause and would love to find out as much information as possible!
Promoting the fair work and development of people’s work. I have a small production company (Orange Shade Productions) that develops new writing and work and would be happy to help arrange early stage readings etc.
I am a theatre maker originally from Colombia. That is to say; I am part of another marginalised community in London with no representation or visibility. I have gone through similar experiences as you, although not in such a big way. But I know the feeling and understand the need to work to avoid these type of things from happening, both as up an coming creatives, but also if we ever get to be in positions of power. We need to be prepared to be coherent always. I can see that this group is set up to specifically help female writers, which is fantastic and while that would not include me, I am sure we can all learn from the findings. I can also help spread the message amongst upcoming Latin American Female writers and creatives based in the UK, whom like most of us, members of minority communities, require guidance and information before any of these things happen. Keep fighting!
Nolite te bastardes carborundum.
Lets make something good come out of a rubbish situation.
My heart breaks for you as a fellow female writer. I will support by sharing your story and keeping an eye out for the next stages of this movement!
So proud of you Tori (and Sarah even though i dont know you personally!) For speaking up about your experiences. If you ever need an extra pair of hands to muck in and help out please know I would love to be there. Sending all my love and hugs for you both xxx
An Incredible initiative from such a horrendous experience. This company will go places - I want to help if I can and am definitely up for the ride. Well done.
You are both unbelievable people who have turned something horrendous into something wonderful and positive. Please remember you are absolute queens who will always rise above. So proud of you- count me in if you need any help!
I'm based in Ireland, and am an actor/writer/producer. I'm hoping to return to the industry after taking a few years break after burn out. This is a huge problem over here too, and I want to help in any way.
so much change still to make, so much work still to do. thank you for this contribution to further equality.
Love to be involved as both a mentor and mentee - I think in the early stages of our careers there is always potential to recieve and give support and guidence. All power! x
You are making something incredible out of the ashes of what must have been devastating. My admiration for you both knows no bounds and thank you thank you for making this. Anything you need, anytime. Milly x
Massive solidarity. Burn the whole f*cking house down!
Shout if I can be useful.
This story makes me furious. The arrogance shown towards the originators of the idea needs to be called out. They (the thieves, for that is what they are) should be ashamed of themselves. I'm certainly ashamed of them and I speak as a black male creative. I hope justice is done in the end, though I suspect it won't.
I'm so sorry that this awful situation has happened. Thank you for speaking out. I admire & appreciate your bravery. You are supported by many. Stay strong.
It is so horrible what has gone on here. Creatives not being acknowledged for their hard work is so upsetting especially when they are telling diverse stories. We need to do better !
Solidarity and love to you both. I am so sad to hear what happened, and so inspired that you're turning this experience into positive change for all of us. Proud to share this industry with women like you x
We stand as one community. As a father of an artistically minded daughter and an artist myself, I believe what you're doing is important to all of us.
I wish I could help financially but I myself am currently out of regular work. But I think It's a great cause. Sorry to hear about what happened. So much of the arts is based on plagiarism and it needs to stop.
However I can, you will know better than me!
I'd love to help in any way I can. This is a brilliant idea and deserves all the attention it can get.
I'm honestly heartbroken that this could happen in this day and age. I just want to show my love and solidarity.
Mediah - playwright
Power to your both for speaking your truth for the sake of protecting female writers, fledgling and established, in theatre.
Cuckoo Bang are keen supporters of new writing, fair treatment of artists and generally making the industry less of a closed door. Happy to help in whatever we can x
I think you're truly amazing people for the way you're responded to this hideously unfair situation. This must have turned you inside out so to rise above it is awe-inspiring. May you soar as you help others to do so x
I'm a writer, but also all-round organiser and general loudmouth. I'm happy to help with things like organising connections, meet ups, databases and collaborations so that women feel supported and so we can move things forward in theatre.
Hi! As a fellow female playwright and performer I was horrified to read your story. I currently can't support you financially but anything else I can do I will and as soon as I am in a position to donate I will send my pennies your way! It is scary to stare power in the face and stay strong, and I am so inspired by what you are doing. Keep going. We've all got you.
I'm a young black bi actor/writer and I would love to support and be a part of Burn Bright. I think taking the adversity and deplorable treatment you've faced and turning it into something positive is a wonderful thing. Be the change you wish to see and I want to be a part of that!
Putting my money where my mouth is. Good luck to you both.
I have performed Tori's incredible work twice now and will always be keen to be involved in any way i can with her and sarahs work. I write and direct and obviously perform but if i can help in anyway I'm 100% in!
Get inspired and Burn bright!"
Hoping for justice here x
I'm so sorry this has happened... I cant help financially.... But would be happy to help in any other way...... On a much smaller scale, in the past, when dealing with copyright for a show I'd written, I experienced a great deal of shaming and intimidation... Its very hard to explain to people, the damaging effect it has, especially when you are trying to remain professional, and creative and sane..... I applaud you for telling your story and for being brave... As woman we have to work so much harder... And it is essential we stick our heads over the parapet... Originally I wanted to remain anonymous.. But after your bravery, that would be hypocritical... So I stand up to be counted... Love and luck, Jules Craig
As a literary translator by profession, I know how it feels to have one’s work appropriated. May you be successful in establishing what you want to achieve!
Thank you Sarah & Tori for sharing your story. As an emerging playwright It's a daunting industry to begin with, but hearing your account of how little care was paid to your hard work and talent is revolting. Thank you for starting this group to advocate for emerging female/non-binary artists everywhere.
I'm incredibly proud of Sarah & Tori for doing this. They've been through hell the past year and to do something so positive when they can go no further shows real strength of character and a commitment to make things better for others.
Thank you for creating this AMAZING initiative out of such disgraceful circumstances. Wishing you peace and closure. The best revenge is success and you, ladies, are already a huge success in many of our eyes. <3
Ladies to rise like a phoenix from the ashes under such circumstances is remarkable. The complicity of The Young Vic Company in this is so disheartening and disappointing. Keep fighting though, the support that will come behind you will be endless and tireless! #burnbright
Complete support and admiration for these fierce women who’ve put so much on the line to speak out and tell their story. Thank you for turning this around to enable other female creatives to Burn Bright. Inspirational. x
Wishing you the best of luck with what sounds like a fantastic idea. Go girls! Let's lift each other up - there's more than enough room for all of us xx
I'm full of admiration for you for turning a bad situation into something with huge potential to improve the fortunes of others - good luck!
Just read your article, and we're here for you
Power and love to you both
Terri (emerging disabled writer)
I'm hearbroken and outraged that things still need changing. Keep fighting your fight, ladies, there're loads of us who would be happy to join you in this.
I'll donate as soon as I can, for now you have my full support.
I am a performer and voice over artist, and after reading the blog this morning i am so devastated for you both. I also think you're both absolutely amazing for standing up and speaking out! I am also a choreographer and if there's absolutely any way I can help I will! I'm from a single parent background with my mum and I have Always had such a profound respect for women just trying to navigates this crazy hard time we live in. As a gay guy too I feel I can relate slightly too haha! But as I said if there's any way I can Help it would be an absolute privilege!"
With you 100% of the way on this..these powerful blind men better watch out cos when we stand together we women are UNSTOPPABLE!
I am a theatre director and our industry has been treating women unfairly for way too long. Anyway I can help I'm here. Representation must come with integrity and respect. Leadership requires these traits as standard. I stand with you. Count me in.
As a female writer and actor, feeling suppressed by a toxic relationship for 20 years, I'm on your side. I don't have any money, but I do have skills (including teaching and as a workshop facilitator) that I am happy to share with you.
Appalled but not surprised at your story. I feel like as actresses we're only just waking up to the pecking order we find ourselves in and we need to acknowledge the struggles right across this often murky industry. I commend you speaking out and offer my support in whatever way useful. You didn't have control over how this tale panned out but I reckon you'll choose how it ends! X
Thank you for sharing your message. It's infuriating how you were cut out of your own work and your contributions were demeaned. I'm so sorry this happened.
As a writer for children's TV I have experienced both great working practice and truly terrible behaviour within the industry. When things go wrong, it can feel there is nothing to be done except take it on the chin and move on. I read the account of your treatment with real sadness, not least because Kwame's work is so highly respected and you thought you were amongst friends. If nothing else comes, I hope you raise enough to cover legal costs and, most importantly, keep writing and creating. With all good wishes.Gillian
Hi, Sorry to read about your story. Do drop me a line if there is anything I can contribute (experience wise) to Burn Bright. I'm based in Coventry and run The Shop Front Theatre but we're only 54 mins from Euston! Take care of yourselves xx
This is not about getting kicked off a job, it's about the right to be treated with respect, and told what's going on. As writers we don't have many rights but the very least should be that one.
I'm a Bristol-based dramaturg and writer. I also knew Kwame in his early days, and am shocked to hear your story. I would like to work with other female theatre-makers, puppeteers, physical artists, etc. especially those who need dramaturgical assistance.
Actor/writer/singer/occasional stand-up. Mum of 2. Fairly good at organising shit. Mostly just to be on the mailing list but if any of those skills seem useful at this stage, then hit me up.
Tori, Sarah! I cannot believe this! I remember talking to Tor back when we first did Fruitful. Unreal! I am here. Whether it is being an Actor, Singer or Production. #burnfuckenbright You're both wonderful women and I wish you every success! Always have, always will. Xxxx
I've donated, if you can help, please do.
A fight that shouldn't have to be fought, but well worth fighting.
I am a writer and actor. I know how hard it is to speak out. I am in awe of you.
Good on you for not only speaking out and standing up to those who think It's OK to silence others for their own agenda, but for using it as an opportunity to BE THE CHANGE!
Happy to offer any video services you might need.
I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Massive respect for speaking up. I think Burn Bright sounds fantastic. All power to you both. I am here to join your mailing list, send you a power punch of solidarity and also to say I am looking fwd to finding out how writers can get involved / be useful as Burn Bright goes forward
All the best, Emma Adams playwright and screen writer
Dear IDRIS and KWAME, to reverse a well-known saying ‘I’m not disappointed, I'm angry’. The chain of events surrounding the theft of creative and intellectual property belonging to these two female playwrights is nothing short of criminal. Go get 'em girls. They deserve what's coming.
Anyway I can help give me all the information! fundraising, events, updates, the lot. <3
This looks like a great and much needed project. X
You two are fucking great. If it's useful, happy to meet anyone who's writing for TV or is thinking about it. Can help develop ideas, or develop sample scripts or just take people at very early stages for a coffee (on us) and lend an ear.
Thank you for your candid account of the malpractice and bullshit that makes up a huge amount of an industry that, let's face it, exists solely to entertain and bring light into life. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. This is wrong. And you are bright, right and deserve to come out on top.
Sending thanks and courage. For too long we have been rubbed out, tippexed over and edited out, It's time for the indelible marker to be used. (Excuse the terrible writing utensil analogy). All the power to you both x
I'm truly skint at the mo but I'll try and pledge more when I get paid....just wanted to contribute something and offer my support/experience/hugs/matches. It will get better xxx
It's so uplifting to see two such extraordinary and talented women taking a positive stand against misogyny and power-play in theatre. I'm sure this isn't easy for you to do but It's necessary and brave and good xx
I run Breakwater Theatre Company along with actress and writer Sara Beasley. We are a small (micro) company promoting new writing. We are happy to stand with Burn Bright and to commit to seeking opportunities to employ, promote and reward female playwrights in our work. We held a female only scratch night a few years ago and would be happy to do so again in solidarity with Burn Bright. We do not condone the actions of the powerful within the industry and the effective ghosting of original creative talent.
As a female creative I am 100% behind this movement for change. Sad that this had to come out of a terrible situation but well done to Tori & Sarah for making the negative into a positive. X
I work with young writers every week. The majority of children who love writing, who want to come to my classes are female, yet the majority of successful playwrights are male. And on a regular basis I can't help thinking ... What happens to all those talented female voices? Where do they go?
I think it's incredible that you're taking all the horrible stuff you've encountered and turning it into such a positive force for the future. I'm sending you all my love, this is such a genuinely hopeful thing to do.
I'd love to be involved somehow.... and send solidarity to you
Standing strong with you. And I feel so proud of you for turning this into such a positive force. All the strength and love in the world. Xxxx
I worked for 2 years on my script and I can't imagine how I would've coped if any person or organisation had done this to me. I felt sick reading your account of it. That you have turned this painful experience into something so positive to help others, women in particular, is incredible. Thank you. Our industry needs to change.
Could not be more impressed by the way you're handling this awful situation, solidarity and strength to both of you!
You guys are amazingly brave but I'm so sorry this has happened to you, and countless others, I'm sure. Well done for speaking up. Let's hope others feel they can too.
We are a school for under represented voices, so anything we can do to help you - fundraisers, workshops for new writing - we are here!! Sorry this happened to you and hope we can all be the change needed!!
Saddened to see how you have been treated, but alas not shocked. Proud to support #BurnBright and my fellow female artists.
The most important of organisations. Trail blazing and fearless and we are all behind you.
Hi, I'm the Chair of The Writers' Guild and would be happy to help in anyway.
As a woman writer and director I'd love to be a part of positive change for myself and others, and admire your bravery in speaking out. As a new producer, and part of a company making music theatre by diverse women I'd like to actively help in any way I can.
Well done ladies. What a brave, bright thing. I wish you all the best.
As a writer, dramaturg and theatre maker I would like to offer my support.
Burn Bright - go restless. Together we are strong.
Well done ladies. What a brave, bright thing. I wish you all the best!
“The claustrophobia of silence" indeed. Thank you for your courage in breaking the silence and for setting up this initiative.
It's bloody hard (to say the very least) to stand up against power. Just know that you have an army behind you!
Solidarity to you Tori and Sarah. Thank you for being a force for change!
Ladies, I just read your story and I am so sorry this happened. I am devastated for you both and amazed at your strength. On two projects in 2017 this happened to me, (although on a smaller scale) and reading your story was strangely comforting, whilst simultaneously painful as I thought how full on shit it would have been for you. Thank you for your commitment to change the narrative, we're all in this together.
As an aspiring female playwright, Tori & Sarah's story regarding the production of Tree is extremely disheartening. If this is how I can expect to be treated then do I really want to be part of this industry? By offering change through Burn Bright, I know moving forward that if I am ever lucky enough to have work produced, I will have support and allies to help me navigate an industry that sees female playwrights as disposable and an inconvenience. The work we create is not lesser than yours. Repeat.
As another young female creative, also running a project to support female writers and theatre makers, I'm delighted to see #burnbright also support playwrights! I'd be delighted to support or collaborate with Burn Bright
Hello! I'm a theatre and film writer and producer. I create immersive work. I'd like to get involved and help you guys in any way I can after reading your story on Medium. Please let me know what you need/ what I can do to help Katie
I will #BurnBright with you, you deserve to be known for your amazing work
I just wanted to show my support after everything you've been through. As a writer myself, I appreciate all you are doing, keep your chins up :)
Such a great idea, hope you meet and surpass your target.
As co-founder and producer of the Persistent and Nasty initiative up in Scotland you have my full and extremely vocal support. What happened to you is truly devastating. The community is here for you. #StayNasty
Any way I can. I'm an actor, but also a lover of any female creators!! Low on ££ atm otherwise I'd donate!!
Let me know what I can do!!"
As co-founder / producer of the Persistent and Nasty initiative up in Scotland, you have my full and extremely vocal support. Whatever you need, whatever I can do, I'm here. What happened is truly devastating. The community is here for you. #StayNasty
Burn Bright, my friends. Love and solidarity.
Thank you for sharing your story
Thank you for your artistic voice, your moral voice and for standing strong. I promise to not stay quiet on the hard things and stand in solidarity with you.
I'll help wherever I can.
I'll be donating as soon as I get paid next week. Solidarity and love.
I'm here to support in any way I can. Be that reading early drafts of scripts, or spreading the word.
Writing is a vulnerable act in itself. Everything from there on should be love, support and equality.
I just wanted to send huge love and solidarity. You're not alone. Change WILL come, thanks to people like you! X
Anything I can help with, come to or support - let me know. Keep strong fierce ladies x
Thank you to you both, by speaking out and reclaiming your voice, you have made us all braver! we're in this together x
Love what you're doing - count me in!
I am so sorry to hear this story and you have my full support in whatever way I can offer it.
Particularly sad as The Young Vic is a theatre I have enormous fondness for.
I'm so sorry (and absolutely shocked) to read about your experiences on a project in which you invested so much energy and creativity - I'm a playwright and a lecturer, and would love to hear more about your #BurnBright plans.
For Tori and Sarah to go through what they have been through, and to turn it into a force for positive change, is one of the best things about our industry now it's time to start addressing the worst. I'm happy to help in any capacity, from assisting with direction to helping write or edit pieces to publicise the organisation.
I have always been passionate about supporting female, POC, and LGBTQIA+ artists, and hope you are able to reach your financial and professional goals. I am unfortunately unable to offer much more than words at present- but I hope to change that and be able to offer something else in the not too distant future
Happy to support Burn Bright in any way. Could definitely offer my time to read early script-drafts or assist directing workshops. You name it - if I can help, I'm there.
I have nothing but support and respect for Sarah and Tori in the creation of Burn Bright. In an industry plagued with idea theft and discrimination - it's creating some much needed real positive change
To see what good can come from some unfortunate events is amazing. If Burn Bright helps stop this happening to just one other woman, it’s worth it. I’ll always be willing to help out in any way I can"MM
Morgan is a brilliant playwright with a brilliant mind and is incredibly generous and supportive of emerging artists. She counts among her plays, Emilia, which has (in our opinion) inspired a generation of women to 'burn bright'.
In fact without taking inspiration from this play, Sarah and Tori may have given up for good.
PAUL J MEDFORD
Paul is an inspiring director, writer and well known performer, and as a fellow human who sees no need to be boxed in, he is currently Vice President of Live Action Programming at Nickelodeon in LA.
He directed our 'Tree' workshops and his style lifts everyone's talent - collaborating without ego but with an insane amount of talent, passion and energy.
Caroline is a wonderfully level headed, supportive and smart literary agent, specialising in musical theatre talent. She's extremely experienced and has worked for over 20 years in music publishing at Warner/Chappell Music.
Passionate about new voices, In 2011, with Warner Brown, she helped create and now co-sponsors new musical theatre writing award The S&S Award.
Susie is an incredibly talented director, actor, writer, and a fiercechampion of young people and emerging talent. She was the Artistic Director of Hackney Empire and we worked with her there on our show ‘Streets’ as well as the workshop for Tree.
SHARON D CLARK
Sharon is an Olivier award winning actress who holds an MBE for her services to drama. She kindly lent her phenomenal talent to both of our ‘Tree’ workshops and is an huge champion of new musical theatre.
Thankyou for sharing your story of pain and transforming that pain into an avenue for empowerment for women in theatre. I am here to share, help, communicate in any way I can.
Bloody hell! Incredibly brave and brilliant of you to go public on this. Really wanted to donate as well - please can you make it possible to take more money? (Has anyone ever been asked that in our jobs...?)
Big love and hugs to you both (especially Sarah - coz we haven't seen each other for eons!)
Female artists need to be supported and protected against this and similar abusive behaviour. Burnt Bright has my support, time and effort at their service. Let us change things!
What has happened to you is outrageous and the response from people who should do better is slippery at best.
I just wanted to send a message to say how incredibly brave and important your statement was yesterday. In fact, I meant to write this to you as soon as I read it but was too angry - and so, it seems, is everyone else; it's been the talk of our house, my friends and I, and creatives in Bristol where I'm currently working. Not only is it a ridiculously blatant abuse of power and influence but also a disgustingly rude and impersonal dismissal of you both. Being suddenly sacked is one thing, but the very least you deserved was a credit and they couldn't even manage that. The support has been overwhelming from what I've seen and so it bloody well should be - the project probably wouldn't even exist in its current form without either of you - and I do hope we either get to see the original form of Tree or another cracking show from you very soon. Hopefully there will be no shortage of venues, creatives, and audiences wanting to get involved. We're all behind you. Thanks for standing up and daring to be heard.
Please add me to the mailing list - can't wait to see what you've got coming up.
All the very best to you both.
Burning Bright for artistic integrity
Thank you for fighting for equality but also for fairness and the rights of other creatives.
Read the story of Tori and Sarah - two amazing women trying to make a positive out of a negative. I would love to be involved in anyway I can. I am a teacher and a writer.
I teach in an all girls school. We have a strong commitment to increasing the amount of female playwrights we study despite working with exam boards that still favour male playwrights. We also actively encourage our girls to write. Would love to collaborate in the future.
Studying acting as a teenager in the 1980s, my male drama teacher said "This is the era for women in theatre.... more roles, more writers.... the industry is changing". 30 years later, little has actually changed. It's hard to keep fighting but when a system is wrong we have to keep speaking up and challenging it.
Sending love and support.
Don't just Burn Bright, in the words of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm "If they try to burn you, may your fire be stronger than theirs so you can burn the whole fucking house down."
Just wanted to say well done for speaking up as it does make a massive difference for other people!
Also, IÂ´m an actor and emergent writer, currently writing my first solo show. I will have a one week R&D of it and scratch performance at The Arcola, as part of CASA festival.
If you plan to run workshops for writers or something similiar I would love to be involved, but IÂ´m also open to be involved in any other way, just let me know!
All the best,
I'm a female writer new to the play writing world and would love to find out more and support, support, support!
Just a quick email to say shocked at how you were removed from the project. Itâ€™s unforgivable - the cynic in me says that people donâ€™t get into positions of power without sharp elbows. Sadly role models are no exception. I can see why you are going with Burn Bright as a female writers vs the theatre establishment thing. I suspect itâ€™s more of an unknown vs famous people power gradient. It took a lot of courage to speak up and you have done your fellow unknown writers like me a service by your bravery so well done!
Oh my goodness ladies I am so ridiculously devastated for you - I just read your story and I feel physically sick that you could be treated like that by such an established place as Young Vic! You are amazing and inspiring for turning something so awful and traumatic into something positive! lots of love xxx
Heartbreaking to read this.
So inspired by your courage and speaking out, your talent and hard work deserve acknowledgement, never doubt this. Power to you ladies love Hannah
I'm a writer and dramaturg, and would like to be involved however I'm needed. I think this is a fantastic and deeply honourable response to all the shit you've been put through regarding 'Tree' and I look forward to seeing Burn Bright flourish and grow.
Read about what happened on Medium. Yeah, this kind of thing has happened to me - still does. The unfairness, the lack of support, the close-minded wrongheadness of stories like these never fails to make my blood boil. Itâ€™s worse when he blinkered arenâ€™t â€œthe enemyâ€ but those whoâ€™ve seen you put your heart and soul into it and who REALLY SHOULD KNOW BETTER. It does make it doubly hurtful. May you rise up, and find the luck, limelight and backing you deserve - you alreday have the talent; youâ€™re already better than the thief-minded half-creatives who shut you out. All strength and power to your creative elbow(s) and hereâ€™s to Burning very Brightly.
Standing with you as you fight the good fight, to get justice for your own creative theft and to protect the voices of the future. Keep going!
So sorry to hear about everything you are going through! Our production Drowning will be at EdFringe and our writer Jessica Ross was very moved by your story. We would like to know if there is anything we can do to help. We know how much heart and soul goes into the writing of a play and canâ€™t imagine having it stolen! Please believe there is always a silver lining and know we are here to support you in any capacity.
This is a great idea. All power to you for speaking up.
What happened to you does not surprise me at all, I also have personal experience of this ongoing misogyny as do we all #staystrong #burnbright
A terrific initiative in response to a shocking travesty. Thank you Tori and Sarah for helping all women to retain their voices.
I'd love to be involved with what you're doing in some way. I'm a fellow theatre maker who's become very disenfranchised with the way our current theatre industry is, and I want to change it! Please feel free to get in touch.
From the Black Panthers to London Pride, Ovalhouse has a long history of supporting new artistic, social and political movements. We are inspired by your bravery in speaking truth to power and establishing Burn Bright. If you would like to hold any Burn Bright events at Ovalhouse, we would be happy to provide space for free. We have also made a small donation to your fund.
With best wishes. The Ovalhouse team
I am so so sorry to hear this has happened to you. It absolutely breaks my heart to read this story. At the moment I can't pledge anything because I'm co-producing a show at Camden Fringe which is a financial struggle but I want to pledge something next month to support this great cause.
Since moving to the UK 4 years ago, at the beginning I thought it would be easier to get into the theatre industry here, and find work that's creative. But it's been a real struggle to be both a migrant and a woman in today's cultural and political world.
I do wish you all the luck and hope that one day your wounds can heal from this, because it's horrific.
My love and heart goes out to both of you, you are amazing and you will make bigger and better work from this experience!
Much love from a Malteser living in the North!
Thank you for being brave to share your story and support women in the arts.
I'm an actor/director and aspiring writer. I applaud the stance you have taken on behalf of all women in the Arts. Being prepared to stand up to unfair treatment despite the cost to your reputation and mental health is inspiring. It is time things changed!
Keep strong and together we can change things.
Whatever you need. I'm a male, London-based playwright and know (& celebrate) this as a platform to encourage and champion women artists but able to offer mentorship, support, promotion, and help connect other female artists I have contact with if useful at any point. Good luck x
Hi, I'm appalled and saddened to read the troubling story of your work on 'Tree'. To be sure, you won't be the last to be treated with such disregard in our business, but you're showing remarkable courage and resourcefulness by making this public and turning it into such a positive initiative. I run Dogstar, a touring company from the Highlands with my colleague Donna Macrae. We commission and produce new plays which travel throughout Scotland and sometimes abroad. Frankly, our record for producing the work of female playwrights needs to improve, so I would be very interested in possible collaborations to develop and produce new work by women. I realise you're at the very start of Burn Bright, so perhaps this is something for further down the line. Yours in solidarity and respect. Good luck !
Hello - I am a producer and an emerging writer, I've been emerging for a while but have undergone the same situation as you twice with West End producers.
Hey- I'm a female theatre maker who was really moved by your medium piece and your experience at the YV. There are so many amazing, powerful women in the theatre sector who are sidelined on a daily basis and I'm so bored of it. Happy to help in any way I can xx
I am trying very hard to picture the conversations where they decided to quietly drop you. How the idea arose, how they justified it amongst themselves. And failing... Congratulations on using such a difficult experience to create something so positive. Perfect name as well!
We're a small female company touring on the waterways - looking forward to being part of the #burnbright community.
You have my support. If it's useful, my skill sets lie in collaborative theatremaking and ensemble practice.
My PhD research included looking at both the politics of authorship and how women's work has been erased, marginalised, under-recorded and under celebrated in British theatre, and Iâ€™m happy to share that if it's useful to anyone.
I have seen this happen to one of the writers I was mentoring: pushed aside and her idea taken by a more established, more powerful writer, and all of this dodgy practice overseen by an AD who couldn't see why it would be an issue. I didn't have the voice to speak up at the time but I would now because of your courage. May you influence us all.
Keep going ladies <3 proud to be a part of this community.
I believe you #BurnBright
Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. Burn Bright is just the beginning. Onwards!
Happy to support women supporting women, and not being bought off, shut up or gaslighted into thinking they don't deserve recognition or respect.
Go girls!! I'm backing you 110%!!
I'd love to be involved in Burn Bright in any way I can. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and thank you for the bravery it must have taken to speak the truth. I can't wait to join a network of like-minded women who want to lift each other up <3
I found Tori and Sarah's bravery and clarity of thought emotionally inspiring and instinctively want to help.
I'm a female writer myself and love this initiative; I want to be part of this change in any way I can!
I'm so glad you came forward with this and spoke out!! Too often women are silenced in this industry... would love to support you and collaborate (Iâ€™m a sound designer) and please do add me on the mailing list!
All the best and thanks again for speaking up, thatâ€™s how change is made!
Rooting for you and all of us. Please put me on the mailing list xx
Something has clearly gone very wrong here. Your voices need to be heard
Rooting for you. Please keep me on your mailing list xx
As freelancers it's often hard to challenge large institutions. It is only right that we do our best to support and look out for each other. I'd love to be involved in any way possible. Best of luck with everything!
I was disgusted to read your story and how you've been shafted by Kwame and the Young Vic. At least you've turned a negative into a positive, and I can see from your current fund-raising tally that you are going to go on to bigger and brighter things, helping future young writers and creatives to succeed! Best of luck, I'd love to come to your first production.
Good luck, what happened was really shit but sadly unsurprising. You tell the story with strength and dignity , keep strong.
Wishing you every success. Kudos to you for speaking out and moving forward in such a brilliant and positive way. I hope it gets resolved quickly but the legacy you guys create has a long last effect.
I don't know how I can help, but I would like to.
Stop waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and light that b**** up yourself. You're an inspiration and I stand beside you.
Thank you for refusing to take the 'two steps back'! You have handled this difficult situation in the best way possible- and I know I for one would love to see where you would take your original show with the politic(s) you wanted in it!
Happy to support in any way I can.
Y'all are courageous and correct. Thank you for that.
As a spoken word artist, curator and filmmaker, I've worked so much harder than my male counterparts and have so much less to show for it. Every woman I know has at least one story like yours, although perhaps not quite as devastating.
I'm hopeful that if we come together, we can make change. I'm happy to be involved, but don't live in the UK.
Wow.....I am so angry and so shocked. I stand with you. I am an actress and new co-writer. At the moment developing something....and reading this with a cold terror. Anything I can do I will! Stay strong! xx
Well done for speaking out you're pathing the way for other creatives - sorry it's only small, I'm an actor which means tight pockets but hopefully this helps some what! Let me know if you ever doing any casting on your work, I'd be involved at the drop of a hat! Have a great week
I've just read your blog post and am so sorry to hear of your travails and hope it can be resolved to some satisfaction. Best wishes too for your Burn Bright initiative.
Having read your story, I'm heartbroken and angry, and sadly not too surprised. I've so much respect for you taking something as devastating as this and turning it into something productive and much needed. Keep fighting the good fight.
Gutted to hear your story. Although not entirely surprised. Best of luck with everything and good on you for using this horrible experience to power you forward x
As an actor, a woman working in theatre and an avid supporter of new theatre I want to say that I am backing you all the way with this and if I can help in any way I would be more than happy to.
Please keep kicking-the-ass out there ladies. Just read your Medium piece and love how you are speaking truth to power.
Just read about your story, absolutely shocking. Well done on being so incredibly brave and making a positive out of a total mess. Iâ€™m going to share this story and page with my friends who write (currently just for our own mental health but there might be something there in the future). Keep on keeping on and know that you still have allies in the industry.
I'm so sorry for what you've been through. Thank you for speaking up and sharing your story.
Women in our industry are behind you and championing your bravery.
Never let the bastards grind you down!
Thank you for your invaluable courage in speaking up against larger organisations. It's happened to me as a writer (on a smaller scale than yours) This narrative should not be familiar, but it is.
Power to you all. Cannot wait to follow what you do and hopefully use and be involved in this service myself.
I am sending huge support to you both x
Just because someone is a 'Miss' doesn't mean they should miss out on being a great playwright.
Thank you so much for writing the article concerning your experience with 'Tree.' I'm so sorry this has happened to you, sending tons of love and support. I'm an emerging female playwright with no knowledge or understanding of this industry, yet the theatre company i have set up is to address the very inequality, discrimination and unfairness you have experienced, that we all experience as women. I truly feel you will get justice for what has happened to you, and it's vital you push for it, for all of us, this type of shit has to end. Thank you Sisters. Much love xxx
I'm not fully sure how but I'm 100% behind your venture and supporting breaking down the power inbalance in this industry. As a writer/actor you look for truth and honesty and the business side should reflect that, it doesn't. I think when you said no one is disposable it really rung a cord with me because that's exactly how you're consistently made to feel when you don't have 'profile' but we should judge everyone on their work and their human nature. I don't have much money or loads of spcial media followers but will support anyway i can.
I'm so sad to have read your experiences. It's an amazing thing to do to use your bad experience to set up an organisation to help tackle the issues of exploitation of upcoming talent within creative industries. It's long overdue.
Your story absolutely broke my heart, and I can really sympathise as someone in a similarly creative industry. This is the living, breathing incarnation of 'hepeating' (when a woman says something profound and no one reacts, then a man says it louder and everyone congratulates him for days). Anyway, I'm not in a massive financial position to help at the moment BUT I would love to get involved with any volunteering and mentoring in my capacity as a journalist and editor.
This could take the form of: PR/marketing workshops on how to generate free press for your show - which titles to target, how to approach/pitch, write press releases and web copy
Proof reading and editing: whatever you've got - scripts, pitches, website blurb, flyers...
Storytelling consultant: an editorial eye on theatre communications and how to make sure your story is communicated in the clearest, most passionate and effective way.
Please don't hesitate to shout if you can use me for any of these things on a volunteer basis. Don't let the bastards get you down - you can see how many brilliant creative people are behind you.
You two are fucking great. If it's useful, happy to meet anyone who's writing for TV or is thinking about it. Can help develop ideas, or develop sample scripts or just take people at very early stages for a coffee (on us) and lend an ear.
I'm a registered English - British Sign Language Interpreter. I'll support you in kind, if you require a BSL interpreter for a Deaf Female writer seeking your support.
I'm sorry to hear that this happened to both of you but I think it's lovely how you're not letting that experience stop you from going after what you want. I also think it's particularly inspiring how you've tried to be the change you wish to see, and think that this platform to help female writers is a fantastic idea!
Good luck, I hope you're able to pay your legal fees and get the credit you deserve, and that this platform is a success in the future!!
My daughter is a writer and hopes one day to be able to make a living out of it. Your fight is very important. Keep going xx
Have read everything about this. I have so much support for you both in standing up for yourselves. It is incredibly brave to stand up against such big names. I hope you succeed in everything going forward. Best of luck to you both.
They can steal the water but not the well.
I want to be a part of a community of dedicated writers and performers and artists. I want to advocate and create opportunities for other female artists.
I can't imagine the courage it took to speak out but I'm so glad that you did. I'm so impressed by how you are turning this devastating negative into such a HUGE positive! Shout your truth from the rooftops. We are all behind you. x
Tori, hello, and Sarah, hello (Tori and I worked on a new musical together in 2015). I have just read what has happened to you and feel sickened and moved and angry. I'm also incredibly proud of your courage and eloquence and fighting spirit - change HAS to happen. I've spent the past 20 years trying to empower women in this industry and support diverse voices - I've built up a female led company and we try so hard to be kind to all the people we work with. We don't particularly get accolades from the 'powers that be' but the art we make and the way we work with artists can make change happen. I will do what I can to support your cause and mission. The response to Burn Bright completely affirms that you have such heart and are leading us in the right direction - please keep going! Love and sisterhood hugs, Emily x
You have my support. I am sick and tired of women creatives being abused and misused by powerful men in the industry. Itâ€™s been going on for millennia and it has to stop - now. #BurnBright #IAmEmilia
I believe in what you are trying to do and am so sickened that women creatives can still be treated so despicably by men in powerful positions. Itâ€™s been going on for millennia and it needs to stop now. #burnbright #IAmEmilia
As a visual artist, I can see that the equivalent would be having artwork taken and worked on by someone else, not as a collaborator, but instead claiming it as their own. This parallel makes the immorality perfectly clear. My suppprt is here for you.
Massive admiration, empathy and strength going forward...
Your story is so important - thank you for being the change and sharing it with us.
I run an emerging theatre company and I would love to support you however I can. My company is called the UnDisposables and was founded with the belief that no creative should be treated as disposable, but the sad fact is that so many of us are. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know, even just through raising awareness. We run regular scratch nights in East London and if there's ever a 10 minute piece you'd like to share in a safe place to a responsive audience, let me know. We're also doing a play I've written in August at The Space Theatre, I can see if we could include a short section in our programme about you and your work? Also open to other suggestions.
Wish you all the best, and again, thank you for your bravery.
Good Luck with this project! Huge respect for speaking out and turning this experience into something so positive. Eleanor x
I am an Actor & Dramatic Improviser.
I'm also a trained youth mentor & worker.
I'd be in interested in performing & facilitation.
Get ready. We're coming.
I was inspired by you seeking to make something full of hope and support, and love, from a horrible situation in which Tori and Sarah were treated so badly. I continue to be inspired by Burn Bright. I write too; to have your work taken from you, twisted into something recognisable but no longer your truth and then to be made invisible within the entire process and denied what is rightfully due, is the lot of the oppressed and this needs to change. I want to be a part of that change in whatever way I can. Thank you for the opportunity.
Well done for speaking out I can't imagine how stressful this has been for you two. As a female writer (or someone trying to break in) it's really encouraging to see two people who are willing to fight for those who will come after them!
You're an inspiration to us all. Never let anyone dim your light. Xxxx
Going to watch plays like Emilia has been eye-opening for me, and made me realise the importance of female writers. Not being involved in theatre myself, I wasnâ€™t aware of the lack of female voices, or the erasure of them (although, I see the same thing everywhere else, so Iâ€™m not surprised!) Your story is so important, and so is your work. I want to help in any way I can, because nobody should go through that, and a lot more people than just me need to see plays written by you two, and the other women that can come together around this. (Shout if you need any web design type stuff too)
Thank you for speaking out so eloquently and for using this challenging time to channel your creative energies into something positive.
The mindset Tori and Sarah have come up against is rife in our industry. It's past time for power and ego to relax it's grip on the creative structures.
This a brilliant initiative. Being a theatre director I love working with writers. It all starts with them and there prisms through which to tell a story. Women need to be treated with equanimity. Buildings need to shift their thinking. Anything I can do to help, I'm here. X
Good luck and "Burn Bright"!
Can give you my time and energy in spreading the word about this awesome scheme. Thank you for sharing your story, what happened to you both is total BS and we must prevent it happening again.
As a young writer and actor about to start drama school and looking forward to my future in this industry, fully knowing the trials and tribulations you have to endure - that' just part of the package - I'm now scared. I'm now scared as a female with a voice that doesn't want to be squashed or controlled.
Can give you my time to do whatever needs to be done to spread the word. What happened to you guys is total BS and thank you for sharing it so openly
Ladies, Iâ€™m devastated to hear your story but I have an incline that you won't be kept down for long. Your courage and strength will propel yours into a success story. I look forward to what's coming next from you all!
After reading Sarah and Tori's statement about the way they were treated by Young Vic, it really saddens me to see that even women who are successfully making a career in theatre are still facing the same pitfalls that those of us just starting out face. If I had £1 for every time a man stole a joke I told and said it louder than me, or took credit for an idea I had, or straight up copied an idea for a show I had passionately spoken about, I could probably pay off the legal fees regarding Tree myself. Something needs to change. As a young, female playwright just starting out in the theatre industry, I want to help be the change I want to see in the future. Burn Bright is a beautiful idea and Sarah and Tori have done a very brave, selfless and empowering thing by speaking up.
Enough is enough. It's time for our voices to be heard and our stories to be told.
Horrified reading your article but know from friends in the industry that this is happening every day. Things have to change!
Happy to support women theatre makers and writers in any way which gets us an equal seat at the table.
Good luck with this journey, power to you!
I run a small theatre in Bakewell, Derbyshire. We are a small community arts centre run as a charity. If I can help in any way I'd love to. I know we've no track record and we're in the sticks but if we can give a space for new voices we will. Peace and love to you xx
Women have been fighting for equality for so long and we must continue to fight and walk shoulder to shoulder. Keep strong.
I want to support you in any way I can. Scarily, I was almost in the same situation as you, when someone very charming tried to trick me out of my play. Luckily, I asked a mentor from the industry for advice and asked more questions which completely put me off. The way he lied about it, bringing equity and a load of bullshit into the equation, to try and cover the fact he wanted to adapt slightly and steal the credit of my production, still angers and upsets me to Thisbe day. I'm disgusted by what happened to you and as a writer, theatre maker, and performer I 100% support this movement.
Fair play to ye!
So sorry to hear what has happened. I hope that something good will come from this. Sending love and support xx
This is a shocking tale of duplicity and betrayal. As a female writer I find this quite terrifying. Here is the awful spine-freezing dilemma: to keep your work under a blanket so that nobody can steal it (but nobody will see it), or to cast it to the wind with gleeful gusto where it can be savoured (and possibly stolen).
A ghastly warning to all female writers! My sympathy to you both. X
I will support this movement in anyway I can. This sort of horrendous practice has been going on for years and itâ€™s time that something was actually done about it. Times are finally changing and we're 100% with you.
Keen to champion female writers and be a vocal supporter of the organisation. I wish you all the best in gathering momentum to protect yourselves and others in the future though Burn Bright.
I'd just like to support you. I'm a writer too. I am so angry.
Hearing about this was horrible, but unfortunately so not surprising. Its a shame it happens to anyone, and to this project especially! I've been through similar, albeit on a smaller scale, situations and would love to try and stop this from happening again to anybody anyway I can. Let me know how I can be most helpful and I'll do it
I'm the AD of a new fringe theatre in Sheffield, if we can help with your mission then get in touch!
Any way I can. As a director, it is my responsibility to ensure I do not tell my story and ensure I can provide platforms to redress the gender balance.
Hey guys, I just want you to know that I think what you're doing is important. Really important. Fight the good fight, and well done. Keir. x
Thank you for your bravery and for telling your story. Love and solidarity. X
Female playwright solidarity.
SO ANGRY & UPSET FOR YOU I COULD BE SICK. XX
I'm actually based in Australia, so probably not that useful! But I feel strongly about what you're doing and would like to be added to the mailing list.
I'm sorry that I'm not in a position to financially support you and this initiative, but I wanted to voice my support to you both. Your article painted a very vivid and fair picture of how work you were asked to create was pointedly repurposed by large arts institutions and well known male industry figures for the possibilities they saw in it, but without any willingness to acknowledge your intellectual property. Irregardless of whether it is legally defensible - which from the facts I can see it does not appear to be - it is certainly morally indefensible. I'm sorry this happened to you both and I look forward to seeing what you do next.
Good luck girls. Rotten what has happened to you.
Keep fighting the fight and get the recognition for your work!
This is BRILLIANT! x
Whilst I know you know how to write, your appeal was totally engaging. I wish you all the very best with this project and hope changes will come. Xx
I read your story in medium and I'm profoundly enraged on your behalf. You guys deserve better. We all deserve better. 'll be sharing with as many people as I can- hopefully by shining a light on this, we can affect something positive. X
You legends. Good Luck wonderful women x
Touched by your story. Happy to throw some coppers in the pot! Good luck to you both (all!). Keep writing and keep believing.
As a woman in Ireland creating work in theatre, I'm horrified what has happened to you, and I am terrified that it will continue to happen to many more women, and maybe even one day myself. I support burn bright all the way and cannot wait to see what it becomes!
Shocked horrified and angry about what happened to you. Really admire your bravery in speaking out. Talk to Lisa Holdsworth at the Writers' Guild. She abhors injustice and is a warrior like yourselves. I hope you get the credit you deserve. Thanks for setting up Burn Bright.
I'd like to learn from this community and share with theatre circles I'm a part of and to fight for positive change beside current and future collaborators.
Shocked, horrified and angry to read what has happened to you. I so admire you both for speaking out. You need to speak to Lisa Holdsworth at the Writers Guild. She abhors injustice and is a warrior like yourselves. I hope you get the acknowledgement you deserve, and I hope you'll have helped bring about big changes in the theatre world. Thank you.
Standing with you, my artistic sisters.
Well done for speaking out. Let's make this theatre world fair!
As a female writer just starting to find my feet in the industry, I was horrified and heartbroken to hear of your story and the way you were treated. We are stronger together. I admire you so much for creating strength and solidarity from your adversity.
Power to you.
Not sure how to be involved. I am a female playwright/screenwriter and definitely care about Burn Bright's mission.
Having read your blog today, I am incensed and saddened to read how you have been treated by people who have the power and influence to behave in a much better way. Well done for shining a light on this and good luck with all your endeavours
I've just read your story on medium and I'm so sorry you've been treated like this. Well done for sharing! We all need to stand up to bullshit like this and like you say, women need to lift each other up, along with men who are willing to risk their necks a little. I'm excited about Burn Bright and about everything you guys will get up to in the future. Much love. xxx
I'M TOTALLY BEHIND YOU FABULOUS PEOPLE!! I am an actor and emerging writer and am very keen to mix with like-minded creatives to bring our ideas to life!
I'm a writer, and had experience with film co., but luckily had good advice from agent and friends, which I took. You're amazing - to make a bad thing good. Not sure how, but willing to help if I can.
So sorry this happened to you. As a fellow playwright I can imagine how devastating this was. Thanks for standing up and trying to prevent it from happening to anyone else!
I'm a writer, not in theatre. Had experiences with film co., luckily had good advice from agent and friends early on, which I took. So sorry to hear your story - but also marvelling how you've made a bad thing good. Not sure how I can help, but would like to.
A platform that specifically supports women writers is a great idea. Thanks for you initiative.
Fully support you ladies. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. You shine the light for others. I would happily help you in any way I can. Share/write/act x
I'm so sad to read your story & feel disgusted at how you've been treated & wanted to send you my support.
I'm an actress & have written 1 short film (haven't written for theatre but not ruled it out). I also write poetry too & your story may well be inspiration for a poem to add to the book I'm going to publish this year.
I'd love to support you in any way I can.
Take care & good luck with this wonderful project.
I'm so sad to read your story & feel disgusted at how you've been treated & wanted to send you my support.
I'm an actress & have written 1 short film (haven't written for theatre but not ruled it out). I also write poetry too & your story may well be inspiration for a poem to add to the book I'm going to publish this year.
I'm an actress and read your post with alarm and disappointment. I want to be part of the positive conversation moving forward, and offer my support to you both. Thank you for being brave and sharing your experience.
This is a brilliant way to respond to a shit situation. I am really happy to give time and support through the Time Bank too, hit me up if useful. All power to you.
Wishing you much success with your new venture. And sending so much love your way.
Great initiative. Please keep me informed.
Congratulations on your work on Tree
Thank you for highlighting your experience and for taking dignified and positive steps for change.
I would love to be kept up to date
I'm donating the £35 I had intended to use to support the Young Vic - I reckon you can put it to better use. Good luck.
Keep at it you wonderful women.
Keep at it you glorious girls
Nothing in this industry surprises me anymore. It is and always has been about power and there lies the problem.
I just want to hug you for how brave and bloody inspiring you are. If I had two pennies to rub together I'd have given them both to the campaign. As it is, if anyone looked at either my bank statement or my CV they'd think I hadn't done anything much in the last 3 years, whereas I've been working pretty nonstop in development for projects in the US, AU and UK...just with hardly any pay and zero credits. Coaching, script development, dramaturgy, reads/R&D, ghost-writing & editing pitch documents, producers/directors statements & synopses for funding applications - which have brought money & higher profile talent in, and at that point I'm jettisoned with a thank you and an empty promise of 'networking opportunities' down the line. And I've kept my mouth shut and been grateful for the work, sucked up all the validation I can from the progress of those projects, and said yes to the same nonsense again from the same people on the next thing. Because the ideas have been really exciting and stuff I'd love to see out there in the world, with or without me, and some of the other people involved have been wonderful. But it's not good enough. When you're invisible you're exploitable, and the industry kind of has a vested interest in keeping us that way. And we can end up conspiring to perpetuate that cycle ourselves out of fear, desperation, or resignation. You two have shown that it can be broken, and given so much hope & strength to others with that. Thank you. I would love to think that you are also taking care of yourselves at this moment - or at least have people around who are keeping some focus on what you need for your mental, emotional and financial safety. That can be tough to manage when your own recent trauma becomes a banner for others to march under. If you doesn't feel like you have people to help you hold that, hit me up, i'm here for it. And anything else. In solidarity xx
I believe you! And I am heartbroken and disgusted by the patriarchal response you received. If I had money to give right now, I would.
This morning, at audition recalls, there were 40 women raising their voices in loud support of you both. Women support women <3
Sending you love and support x
I'm a female playwright and filmmaker in the US, and I am cheering you on! If there's anything I can do to support your cause, please let me know. It's time to turn things around for female writers. AND let's stick together.
Hi I'm a female playwrite and I'd love to be involved with you guys in any capacity.
I'd love to support this initiative any way I can! I'm a set designer and graphic designer (with a specialism in theatre promotion) and I'd happily lend either of these skills to Burn Bright. I am also working on my first script for the stage after having graduated from Goldsmiths University.
I'm interested in getting involved with BurnBright, I'm a writer and actor with tech experience. I'm currently developing my own play about the ongoing militarization of youth culture and the propaganda machine that drove the run-up to the first invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2002 following the Twin Towers bombing in 2001. Please let me know if you are developing any programs or resources for female playwright / directors and how I can raise awareness for female writers in the theatre and film business. I look forward to learning more about your organisation.
Here in the San Francisco Bay area we are organizing the first bay area women's theater festival, and 40 theater companies have joined. Our festival will go from March through May 2020. We would love to start a dialogue with Burn Bright.
Dear Tori and Sarah - I applaud you for your tenacity, your dignity, and your decision to turn a horrible situation into something positive. You are instigating change in the industry. You are the trailblazers. As you have said, it is an industry of power, privilege, and fame - but through #burnbright you have proven that integrity has the greatest power. Sending strong thoughts, hope, and love.
It is so unfair what has happened to you both. Your story shows that gender bias is just as prevalent as racial bias, and equally inequitable. Keep strong and you will prevail. You have hundreds of people stood behind you, supporting you and urging you on.
I am a writer, I'd love to be involved
Thank you both for sharing your story of injustice. As a female playwright & independent producer myself, reading what you experienced made me want to say goodbye to this industry. Then reading what you're creating out of this struggle, for the benefit of all women and to stick two fingers up to this messed up system has given me faith to stay a bit longer. In solidarity, I hope you both take some time out for self-care and healing.
I'd love to support this initiative in any way I can! I'm a set designer and graphic designer (with a specialism in theatre promotion). I'm also currently working on my first script for the stage since finishing my degree at Goldsmiths University.
Think you are brilliant by the way! So much respect for you x
Wonderful Goddesses! Thank you for your immense bravery! I too have suffered this kind of patriarchal bullying in creative processes and want to do all I can to help!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us women the courage and the platform to finally speak up and do something to help prevent this from happening to others.
Love love love!
Hello! As an actor-in-training, aspiring writer, and theatre-maker, hearing your story, and the experiences of many other women, both frightened and enraged me. Just when we think we're making progress, someone has to remind us that we are still at a disadvantage (even more so for women of color.) Which is why I find it so inspiring and admirable that you turned your plight into this amazing campaign. It's going to take women supporting women to make real change. I cannot wait to see where this goes and hope I can be a part of the journey in some way. From this woman just coming into the world, thank you so much for your work.
I want to say how sad I am at the treatment you received. I do not work in the industry, I used to, but in a short time on the FOH side of things, I was shocked at the way women are treated. Creative differences is a sinister term for me as it can involve a brutality towards women in the form of blatantly stealing their work then labelling them unstable divas and other such insults or as in your cases, rendering them invisible. How can this happen to us so publicly and remain unchallenged so often. Well done for speaking out and I am so sorry this has happened to you, but I am on your side and think you are brilliant brave women.
I would like to join the mailing list and also volunteer time and expertise, now or in the future. I am not professionally involved with theatre, but I am emotionally invested in the arts, equalities, and liberation and autonomy, especially for women. I would love to ensure what happened to you both never happens to other women.
I read your post with great interest and empathy, but have no doubt your talent and resilience will bring you future success.
Happy to help in anyway and be an ally.
I read your story and felt deeply moved by it. I am shocked by the way you were brutally cut out of this project. To me, it is blatantly obvious that however the piece developed after your involvement, the production team should have credited you or publicly thanked you for your involvement. The fact that they never did this, and that the team sought to delete you completely from its creation story, is unforgivable. Your names should have been on that poster.
Thank you for your courage in coming forward and sharing your story. I hope it can bring about positive change for women in the industry who are working their asses off to make things happen.
Love and solidarity to you.
Full support to you both
I congratulate you for your bravery and courage in taking this deep rooted issue on.
Still she persisted!
I'm raging after reading your Medium article and it speaks to me so deeply about the way women are undermined and subjugated in this industry. I'm working at the RSC right now, but would love to get involved in any way. Acting, women's circles, I can offer yoga classes for to help us all burn bright. Happy to help and give support in any way xxx
Collaboration is the beauty of theatre but it can so easily turn into exploitation. Thank you for shining a light on this important issue and helping writers to support other writers. We need to be able to voice our fears without ending our careers!
Unfortunately, I had an experience like this. I'm a female playwright who got the dream job of adapting a novel to film. I worked on the movie for a year. Every time I turned in a draft I was told the production company was just running behind but they would get my payment to me could I just keep writing? It was my first film job. Even my agent was persuading me to continue. Everyone told me I would be burning bridges if I stopped writing until I got my check. After a year of work, when I was on the edge of financial ruin, I put my foot down and demanded my back pay. My agent immediately dropped me - and it was a big London agent and the production company all of the sudden decided my work was awful. Come to find out later the agent was working as a producer with the production company and they had been running out of money for at least a year before I was hired. No one warned me. No one tried to help. I paid to take them to court - both the agent and the company. The agent was sanctioned, the company filed for bankruptcy. I was financially ruined and most of all depressed and heartbroken. I'll never get that year of work back. I will do anything I can to keep it from happening to someone else.
Very sorry to hear this story. I'm a writer and a woman and a single mum who has had to make hard professional decisions to feed my kids. I know personally just how hard it is to crack the theatre and the TV writing (I've had 6 novels published but the other mediums still seem harder for us women). I hope this all works out for the best for you. It's more than disheartening to read the statements from the men. GOOD LUCK!!!!!
Love and power to you.
I'm in the process of setting up a theatre company focussing on community work. I will hopefully start to write for this but the idea.of writing terrifies me. One of the reasons is that I feel like I don't fit the mainstream theatre industry's ideal. I feel like I'm invisible to the upper echelons and powerful people. That even if they did see me, they would not help me but look down and think, "how quaint" amongst derogatory comments. I have interacted with theatres in the West Midlands and get told look at the website. I am either too old, too young, too qualified, not qualified enough, too experienced, too inexperienced, too disabled, not disabled enough, the list goes on, oh and not forgetting too female!!!
What has happened to you is truly appalling and shows the inequality in all workplaces, especially the theatre. From the writers to the production staff, the chief execs to the stage crew, the few characters that are written for women to the bit parts we are left with (after men have cherry picked female roles and cross dress to steal what few parts female actors have left) theatre should be representative. Theatre is a mirror we hold to society, what it is reflecting is unpleasant inequality. I have such respect for you both for taking a stand. It is terrifying to put your head above the parapet, but you do it for all womankind, for all marginalised and for a better future.
I wish you every success with your legal action, your future projects and Burn Bright. With hope and light x x
Good luck with your fight for proper recognition of your creative work on the Tree project. I applaud your bravery in standing up to the theatrical establishment.
I would definitely like to support female playwrights and scriptwriters in any initiatives for equal opportunities.
I'm an actress and Theatre Company Artistic Director. We explore themes of identity and promote women's voices, women led stories, and women in the arts in general. We'd love to offer our support and hope to collaborate with Burn Bright in the future.
This is much needed ; brilliant that women are now voicing the damage , as opposed to being silenced.
As a female writer of colour, I left england before my writing career had really begun because I felt that my writing would only be solicited and received through the lens of my ethnic identity. I think most people underestimate how traumatic it is to be working in an industry that is generally dismissive of voices that have not traditionally been part of it. Your work is important and this conversation is vital to the spirits of female theatremakers. Having the presence of mind to open your hearts up like this through what you are going through is so enormously generous. My deepest thanks for pushing to open up a really difficult conversation. Lots of love to you both.
I just wanted to help in a small financial way, and although I am a long time theatre professional, as a straight, cisgender white male, the best way I can help from a profession standpoint is to step out of the way and be an ally. I wish you nothing but success, and hope that I might be able to provide more meaningful financial support in the future.
What you did took bravery. You set a great example to us all.
I am a young, aspiring female writer and my dream is to write and create theatre. I'd love to help and be a part of your initiative in any way that I can!
Just pledged, on behalf of every writer who has ever been burned, regardless of background.
I'm as non-diverse as it is possible to be, and it has has happened to me (though not in nearly so big a way). I salute your courage in speaking out.
Thank you for speaking up. Too often in this industry the bullies win.
You're absolute queens. Thank you for speaking up.
This matters for all playwrights and screenwriters, men as well as women. Denying writers credit for what they have done is just plain wrong and morally and intellectually indefensible. Keep fighting in the knowledge that everyone on your site belongs to your army.
I'm an actor and writer and am shocked at how easy it is for some men to take credit for women's creative ideas, having experienced it myself on a much smaller scale.
Thank you for speaking out about your experience and for finding a way to create something positive
Impressive the way you're creating something positive out of such a terrible experience - how frustrating and devastating to see others take credit and control of something you created. Strength to you both.
I am reaching out to you because your story moved me. And as a budding writer that hopes to strive to the levels that you two have created, I feel totally naive and blindsided that this could potentially happen to me down the line. I just want to tell stories, but now I feel as though I need to be in the right environment and the right team for me to grow as a person.
Thus, the genesis behind Burn Bright is a noble company that I am eager to be part of. I hope that you understand my intentions well and that you have a place for me. If not, I will continue my journey with your story in my heart, indelible.
Thank you for being that change we all want to see - you are empowering fellow female writers/creators to find their voices in awkward and oppressive situations.
Hi I'm a female playwrite and I'd love to be involved with you guys in any capacity.
Keep going Tori and Sarah you have right on your side.
Reading and following your story; feeling solidarity with you, and appreciation for your vision and work in the world. All power to you and all our support from all of us here at Theatre Bristol
Put simply, it is obviously wrong how you have been treated and I will do anything I can to help in your mission. I cannot imagine what form that help might take but you have my support.
It outright disgusts me that this can still happen. but thankfully, the internet exists so we can band together and rise up on the suits. We will be able to win this,
I want to be part of the change, even if in a very small way. Amazing that you have used this experience to fuel something positive.
I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you and so glad you've spoken out about it. It's time women were treated with respect and given credit for the work they do. I am sure you two will not be the first this has happened too. Proud to donate to help support a better future and network for women playwrights.
Having just spent 2 days hearing how 'things are better in Theatre' at the Roysl Opera House Engender session on empowering women in opera, shocked to hear your story. Creative women across the arts need to speak out and stand together, so I'd love to be involved in Burn Bright as a women, director and cross-genre contributor!
Hi Tori and Sarah, I read your story in The Stage and on your website. You have been treated appallingly - dismissed unfairly with no explanation and then they have tried to silence you. I applaud you both for your bravery in standing up to the egos and big players in our industry. I'm an emerging theatre director struggling to find a way in to this industry with itâ€™s closed doors and tick box approach to supporting artists . If there is any way I can help or be involved I would be delighted to do so.
Same old story just a different industry. Please know you have the support of all members of this female household, mothers and daughters. We would love to travel from Wexford, Ireland to see your work in production. Much love and good health.
This initiative represents to me a leap away and up and out of fear and timidity and weakness to an open field for female creators everywhere. Female energy is fantastically creative, collaborative and all-embracing. I will support it in any way I am asked and I will do exactly what I want!
Completely support you and open to ways I can be of help.
Your story really resonated with me. Having had my own recent struggles with all-male commissioners I recognised the truth of your story. Thank you for your courage in speaking out publicly, and undertaking the process of seeking justice. I know well how exhausting and exposing such self-advocacy can be, and am inspired by your example.
As Iâ€™m based in the north-west I would be interested in helping with any efforts that might be undertaken to make sure Burn Bright has a presence outside of London.
Happy to help in any capacity! Artist, typist, tea maker - in no order!
I would love to be a member of burn bright as a female writer your story terrifies me and the thought of getting pushed aside by people higher up makes me so angry. Good work.
Dear Tori & Sarah, I just read your article on Medium and I am very sorry to hear about your situation!
I am from Hong Kong where all creative industries are super inbred, incestuous and old-fashioned. I have always found the UK a more open, welcoming environment for new experiments and materials. Theatre itself is already a tough industry. No one is oblidged or expected to be nice to another person, but to hear that they're shutting down and erasing other people's works, that's just saddening to hear. I hope some sort of satisfying and just solution and outcome will arrive to you both, and you can get the acknowledgement and pay you deserve!
Congratulations on speaking out. Keep true to yourselves and don't be afraid to be angry about your treatment. It was theft.
You're inspiring. You've dealt with this with so much dignity. I'm looking forward to seeing the positive change this brings.
Just donated to your fund! I'm sorry you were so badly treated ... but congratulations on starting something so positive!
Please add me to your mailing list.
So glad this is being brought to people's attention! Couldn't be more on board!!!!
Love you both. I am with you 100%!