‘Lucy Kerbel’s work has become increasingly pivotal in helping the entire industry raise its game… this illuminating book answers the cynic, informs the impartial, converts the supporter into an activist and equips them all; not in a rallying cry of anger-fuelled idealism, but in a calm, pragmatic and clear-eyed way.’ Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, from his Foreword
Theatre needs to change. Everywhere – in its boardrooms, on its stages, throughout its repertoires – it could be so much more successful at reflecting the gender balance of the world it seeks to represent.
This is a book about why change matters, its benefits – artistic, commercial, ethical and social – and how, with everyone’s help, we can actually achieve it. From small shifts, such as how you run your meetings, or what’s on the shelves of your school library, to rethinking concepts as huge as the art we inherit, how we attribute excellence, and the constraints we unwittingly pass on to the next generation, there are things we can all do to bring about change.
In this book, you’ll find provocations to help you consider your current practices and their effects, challenge unconscious biases and identify opportunities for change, plus strategies and tools to help you decide where best to focus your efforts, to convince others why change matters, and to achieve meaningful, lasting success.
Eye-opening, empowering and inspiring, All Change Please is a book for anyone who loves theatre. Whether you make it, teach it, watch it or study it, everyone has their own unique part to play in helping refresh, reshape and re-imagine the industry as truly diverse, equal and inclusive.
‘We are the industry. If things will shift it is down to us, all of us, to make that happen. We all need to reflect on how we work, how we think, and how we make choices. That’s what will drive the greatest change.’
Since 2011, Lucy Kerbel and her organisation Tonic Theatre have been working with companies and individuals across the theatre industry to support them in achieving greater gender equality in their work and workforces. Her first book, 100 Great Plays for Women, is also published by Nick Hern Books.
‘Well-informed and clearly written, accessible and engaging… the chapter on Young People would be an inspiring and provocative starting point for a debate with GSCE or A-level students… this brilliant book will help us get towards realising a vision of equality’
— Drama Magazine
‘Relevant and useful to people at all levels and in all parts of the creative industry, from youth-group leaders to executive producers… already it has altered the way I think about the issue and its possible solutions’
— Teaching Drama
‘An accessible and enjoyable read which I finished feeling motivated, inspired and informed… reminds us that we each have a role to play in making change happen regardless of how much power we think we have’
— Youth Theatre Ireland
‘Eminently practical… Kerbel makes her case in calm yet resolute fashion, busting common myths and giving readers the tools to spot and combat imbalances – both collectively and individually… Kerbel’s belief in the industry’s ability to change, the benefits it will bring, and the joy we can find in advancing that change is much-needed inspiration. We so often despair at the negative; here is a brisk spur to take action and create the positive’
— Broadway World
‘[Kerbel’s] evidence is watertight, well conveyed and successfully highlights the issues facing gender equality in today’s industry… all of us need to take note, take it seriously and take action’
— Ink Pellet
‘A great guide for anyone thinking about gender equality… gives people the tools to create their own change’
‘An empowering read that leaves you feeling both able and ready to take some form of action… there is still a huge amount of work to do, but Kerbel breaks it down, making equality feel a little closer to our grasp’
— LGBTQ Review