What it means to be a woman on the stage

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

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.

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