What it means to be a woman on the stage
A ONE-WOMAN show intended to provide a place of solace and safety for women proved to be a success in Monto.
I Am a Circle began as a concept created by performer Barbara-Jone “BJ” Long intended to reach out to women who felt isolated and troubled.
Mrs Long, who has a storied history as a performer with the South Australian Theatre Company and alumni of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, learned from first-hand experience it was harder for women to find roles as they got older.
She said she became fascinated by women’s cultural history, which she had previously viewed only from a patriarchal standpoint.
“I thought I could write a play about this and bring in the process of what a woman goes through in her life and weave that amongst the story of the maiden, the mother and the crone,” Mrs Long said.
“I’ve written the exact kind of work I’d like to do as a performer, but would never be given as an actor because there isn’t availability for those roles.”
The performance and workshop was held over the weekend at Monto’s Landcare building and was exclusively for women to attend.
Mrs Long said the audience was very attentive.
“Sometimes people are a little bit frightened to laugh, particularly in the country because they’re not exposed to theatre the same way,” Mrs Long said.
“They really got it here, they were really listening.”
One attendee, Jasmena Johnston, said she really didn’t know what to expect.
“I came in not knowing much, but it turned out to be really interesting,” Ms Johnston said.
Attendees were impressed with Mrs Long’s ability to carry a solo performance for an hour and a half.
❝ I’ve written the exact kind of work I’d like to do as a performer.
— BJ Long
THE CIRCLE: BJ Long created her one-woman show to tap into female energy.