DARTCritic Katie Coseni writes: As every student knows (yet will vehemently deny) Wikipedia is one of our go-to sources for information. But did you know that many prominent women in Canadian theatre are grossly under-represented online? In a society so dependant on technology, having no online presence can be detrimental to anyone hoping to make an impact in the theatre industry- and, unfortunately, this is the case for many Canadian women. In fact, plays written by women don’t even make up 25% of the plays produced in Canada, even though women make up the majority of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada’s membership.

iwdOn March 8th, International Women’s Day, you can help give these women the online presence they need and deserve, as valued members of the theatrical community. Brock University will be participating in a nation-wide Hackathon, hosted by Equity In Theatre, where students will gather to collectively create and edit Wikipedia articles about diverse women in the Canadian theatre industry. “First and foremost,” says Katherine Gottli, one of the organizers of the Hackathon, “the goal of this event is to increase the online visibility of diverse Canadian female theatre practitioners, with special focus on the women in our own arts community.”

The Hackathon will be lead by the students of DART 1F93, who have spent the past few weeks compiling lists of the women they hope to help create an online presence for. Karen Fricker, a Dramatic Arts professor at Brock (and founder of DARTCritics) came across the information on the Hackathon as she was preparing a lecture on feminism. “We need to be a part of this” Fricker says.“It’s a perfect opportunity to engage the students in feminist action”.


Raising awareness of the diverse women and their contribution to the theatre world is one way in which Equity In Theatre hopes to begin to abolish the gender inequalities still present in the industry. “It is important to me because I see the tangible positive presence the women I work with has in my life and the lives of the students I teach, but when directing students to more information about them, more often than not it is not there.” says Gottli, “Digitally highlighting the achievements of my colleagues shows the students I work with that these women have an influence beyond a 4 hour lab once a week, and, in turn, shows these students that they too can have that kind of influence.”

The Hackathon will take place at Plaza 409, from 2-5 pm. Anyone is welcome to join, all you need is a laptop or tablet. There will be refreshments and live entertainment provided by Brock’s own Bri Lidstone and Hayley Malouin. Information on how to go about creating and editing the Wikipedia articles will be provided at the start of the event.




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