Somehow, an entire year has passed since we opened Goddess at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. Nearly 400 people saw the show and many more took part in the art exhibition, workshops and market which accompanied our week long mini-festival. Earlier this month, to celebrate International Women’s Day some of the cast and creative team met up to watch some film from the production and to reflect on the work we did together. Here are some of our thoughts:
SUZANNE DANCE- PERFORMER AND CO-CREATOR
On Saturday 9th March 2013, I watched the Goddess DVD with 2 remarkable women friends. Phyllida Anam Aire,and Sara Trevelyan. They are both powerful, graceful healers and agents for change.
They were intrigued and engaged and touched by ‘Goddess.’ And it was useful for me to notice when I felt the need to explain to them what was happening! Whenever we went to the ancient times, I told them so… I had to explain re the initial mother section, and the nightmare, and why we were drunk. Because they asked! Also it became clear which sections were strong and clear, and which were weaker. They really enjoyed the music, and movement sections, for example, and the warning from the Cailleach of the need to ‘keep the Goddess alive in our hearts, through the difficult times.’ I felt moved watching it with them. It felt bonding and they celebrated our courage for being so ‘out there.’ No doubt this may happen with all of us as we watch it and garner feedback from various friends and family.
As Liz and I showed the short DVD to the Wester Hailes Carers Group on International Women’s Day they seemed visibly uplifted by it and the later discussion was on heroines. I think it can light a torch, a flame, a memory within those who see it. It’s a reminder of our collective and individual strength, beauty and power.
The One Billion Rising initiative felt like a clear call from the Goddess. Women dancing all over the world on the 14th Feb to celebrate and protect themselves. 200 or so of us danced outside the Scottish Parliament. (See amazing videos on YouTube from around the Earth.)
One year on from Goddess, I feel proud and thankful to have been part of the project. Proud of what we created together. I think if and when we revisit the play there is much to work from. To enhance, clarify and strengthen our piece. I hope and trust that when the time is right for each of us and collectively there is more joyful, empowering work to be done.
I honour and respect each one of you for all the work you are doing and all that you are, and are becoming. With all love, from my heart to your hearts,
CAITLIN SKINNER- DIRECTOR AND CO-CREATOR
When we set out to create Goddess we did it with no money, little experience and hardly any time. What we did have was a group of passionate people who felt very strongly that the time was right to create a show that explored the female experience from across generations and across history. We all seemed to be hearing something going on out there, a rumbling of people wanting to talk about women’s issues in a new way. So despite the fact that we had no money, little experience and hardly any time, we felt we had to strike while the iron was hot.
My personal aim for the project was always for Goddess to be a spark and create space for people to have a conversation. My strongest memory of the festival was of people chatting passionately, humorously and thoughtfully in the beautiful hall in the Storytelling Centre. Since then I have had many conversations about the show and what it meant to people. I hope that will continue as long as possible. Perhaps when it stops it will be time to make another one.
The world is of course a different place a year on and if we were to make the show again now it would be very different. I suppose I have a sense that feminism is more in the public consciousness now and there is a call for change across a whole range of issues.
Now I feel that we are busy getting on with it, answering the Goddess’ final question, ‘What shall we do now? This time?’ What a wonderful thing!
Thank you to everyone who gave so much to this risky but important project and love to everyone whose out there working for change.