Erica initiated and co-founded Women In Theatre & Screen. She serves WITS as Education and Professional Development Manager, Public Officer, and on the Executive Committee.
Erica is committed to maintaining the visibility of women in the theatre and screen industry, spotlighting success, and keeping the pressure on companies to meet and exceed gender parity. Speaking to Richard Watts for ArtsHub, Erica said, “I think the long-term goal is to keep the debate alive so that we don’t have to have this two steps forward, one step back thing for the next 50 years. It would be great to see some lasting change, and not only driven by financial and commercial imperatives but also by a cultural imperative, and developing a greater respect for women and women’s voices at a cultural level.”
At the very first WITS Forum, held on Erica’s 31st birthday and convened by Erica, three hundred women gathered to share their experiences and brainstorm the way forward. A movement was born.
Since then, WITS has delivered two more sell-out forums, “Making Gender Parity A Reality” at Belvoir Street Theatre, also convened by Erica, and “‘Types’ of Roles for Women In Film” convened by WITS Woman and Co-Founder Maryann Wright.
In Early 2016 we launched the WITS on Australian Plays Online Database. Matilda Ridgway lead the team reading the catalogue on Australian Plays Online and collecting the data to enable searching by gender of playwright, and significant female roles. The project is ongoing.
In 2016 we delivered an empowerment workshop for aspiring women writers and film-makers, convened by Lynn Hegarty and produced by Maryann Wright, a three-week Linklater voice workshop delivered by Christina Koch, a clowning workshop for Festival Fatale Pozible supporters delivered by WITS woman Matilda Ridgway, an improvisation workshop also for our Festival Fatale Pozible supporters delivered by WITS woman Ildiko Susany.
With self-care expert Martine Langoulant from Full Circle Conversations, Erica co-convened Self Care for Creative women.
WITS’ major event in 2016 was the inaugural Festival Fatale, artistically directed by WITS Woman and Co-Founder Lizzie Schebesta. The festival was an enormous success, with 1,300 tickets sold across two days.