Jane Doe finally makes it's Wellington premiere
Written and Directed by Eleanor Bishop
Performed by Karin McCracken
AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY THEATRE ABOUT RAPE CULTURE COMES HOME TO WELLINGTON FOR THE FIRST TIME
In New Zealand there’s an issue that runs deep in rugby league teams, in Facebook groups between high school students, with an ex-Prime Minister who believes it is his right to pull on waitresses ponytails. In America they have a president who has bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” without their consent and Brett Kavanaugh elected as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court following sexual assault allegations. We’re not short of reminders that there is a problem with rape culture and the value of consent in our societies.
Making it’s Wellington premiere from 30 Oct - 3 Nov after touring arts festivals throughout New Zealand, Australia, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and colleges in the United States, Jane Doe seeks to open conversation about these issues through the collective reading of a trial transcripts from rape cases. Written and directed by Eleanor Bishop and led by performer Karin McCracken (both from Wellington), the court case is interwoven with reflections about sexuality and consent from young people across America, New Zealand and the UK. As well as providing participatory opportunities for the audience - volunteers stand in for lawyers and witnesses - audiences are also invited to respond directly to the performance as it happens, through text messaging.
This is the first work from these collaborators to presented in Wellington since their award-winning STAB commission Body Double stormed BATS in 2017. Body Double had huge critical and commercial success including winning Production of the Year and Best Newcomer (McCracken) at the Wellington Theatre Awards before being presented by Auckland Arts Festival & Silo Theatre as part of this year’s festival.
Jane Doe began during Eleanor’s Masters in Fine Arts in Directing at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama in Pittsburgh. It has evolved through 65 interviews over three years with young people from multiple college campuses in the United States, as well as people from New Zealand and the UK in 2017. When Eleanor returned to New Zealand at the beginning of 2017, one production of Jane Doe has continued to tour American colleges while Eleanor restaged a new one, which travelled to Edinburgh in 2017. This performance is led by McCracken, a Wellingtonian based theatre-maker who until recently has been a specialist educator for the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network, a non-governmental organisation that provides primary prevention sexual violence training. She is also a trained lawyer.
Eleanor is an extremely driven theatre maker who puts engagement with social issues at the forefront of her work. In 2017 Eleanor spent a month at the Citizen Artist Incubator, an EU initiative that prepares fifteen promising performing artists for their vital role in shaping our rapidly changing world and in 2018 she re-imagined Mrs Warren’s Profession for Auckland Theatre Company and has been working with Builders Association and Melbourne Theatre Company.
“Breathtaking in its sincerity, groundbreaking in its approach. A show grounded in its quiet humanity” — The Theatre Guide, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017
“Refreshingly pragmatic, particularly when so many issue-led plays are a one-way conversation.” — The Scotsman, UK
“… insightful, powerful and must not be missed.” — NZ Herald
Critics Choice & Melbourne Tour Ready Award [Sydney Fringe 2018]
Social Impact & Auckland Live Presentation Award [Auckland Fringe 2018]
Web: wearejanedoe.org | Facebook: /wearejanedoe | Instagram: weare_janedoe
Jane Doe plays
Dates: 30 Oct - 3 Nov, 6.30pm
Venue: BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
Tickets: $15 - $22 (Booking fees may apply)
Bookings: www.bats.co.nz or 04 802 4175