What You Know

MAMs’ First public speech at #APAC16, Galway June 2016


As part of the 2016 All-Island Performing Arts Conference in Galway on the 15-16 June, an Open Call went out in April for proposals to participate in a concept album talk. Each submission had to select one of fifteen tracks from the concept album Now That’s What I Call #APAC16 and speak on their chosen topic for no longer than the duration of the track and using the song title as inspiration.

The newly formed MAMs Ireland put forward the following text using the song title What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club (3.11 minutes)

What You KnowIMG_0591

Written by Sarah FitzGibbon and Johanne Webb and presented by Johanne Webb on behalf of Mothers Artists Makers

What you know
That she was a theatre artist
That she was good at what she did
That she had trained, is experienced and delivered
That she was pregnant.
What ever happened to her?

What you don’t know
That she is still a theatre artist
That she is still good at what she does,
That she has trained, is experienced and has delivered.
She now has a whole new set of skills to offer.
She is a lot more organized and her time management is incredible.

What ever happened to her?
She has a child, or two, or three…

You’ve known it the whole time
You don’t think of her for work, because ‘she has a family now.’
You don’t think she would be able to perform in that …’she’ s a single mother now’
You don’t think she’d be up for that … ‘she has a family now.’
The invitations stop, and with them gone and the price of the babysitter… she no longer goes to shows.
An event, opening or a launch happens, but with inaccessible venues or them happening at bedtime, she disappears altogether

Whatever happened to her?
She is still there, at the school gate
And you can say it’s what you know
But you’ve known it the whole time.
Yeah! You’ve known it the whole time
That once a woman has a baby,
she can say good bye…
She can disappear…
What’s she thinking in this new world of hers?

Maybe next year, I’ll have more time
To let people know that I am still here
Maybe next year, I’ll have more time
To sit down and create
To be myself
To be an artist once again.
And I can taste it, it’s my beginning…again

Maybe next year I will have more time,
To be the one to stop the dousing of myself and my sisters dreams,
To ask for child care
To ask for help
To ask for what is rightfully mine as I create a new generation of theatre goers.

And maybe next you’ll not ask ‘what ever happened to?’
You’ll look for her, ask her, consider her, consider her work, consider her practice.
She is still there.
We don’t want to be alone
We now are not alone.

I speak for Mothers Artists Makers. We are a group of feminist mothers, with a background in theatre, who are now meeting once a week and talking regularly online. We also have some members who practise other Arts disciplines that contribute to theatre . We hope that FAMs (Fathers Artists Makers) is coming soon! All of us are mothers who believe our theatre careers have in some way been adversely affected by becoming parents. WTF energized us as women but we felt, however, that the one missing voice in this feminist revolution, was the voice of Irish mothers in theatre.

Mothers are the ultimate creators!
Mothers make amazing theatre.
Mothers are skilled, talented and masters at multi-tasking
Yeah! You’ve know it the whole time.

We don’t want to be alone

Now we are not alone.