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Introducing the Penelope Circle

Today is International Women’s Day. And to celebrate, we’re delighted to announce a very exciting, female led initiative.

This July, we’re staging Booker Prize Winner Margaret Atwood’s (The Handmaid’s Tale) The Penelopiad. Directed by our own Associate Director, Juliet Forster, and starring an all-female cast and creative team, this adaptation by Atwood herself is a powerful retelling of this world famous epic tale.

As part of the development of The Penelopiad here at the theatre, we have created the Penelope Circle.

Inspired by the Canadian Penelope Circle, established to support the development of the original production of The Penelopiad in Ottawa in 2007, this circle is formed of women from across Yorkshire who are business leaders and community role models. They have pledged to provide leadership gifts to support the play in its creation.

Their support will go towards developing and championing creative talent, improving access to the production and our theatre, supporting our community and ensuring the show is able to reach its creative potential.

Juliet, director of The Penelopiad, says of the initiative:

“I am very excited by the idea of the Penelope Circle, not only will this help us achieve the vision we have for the production, but also because it will give the all-female cast a really strong sense of being supported by key, high-achieving York women. In the theatre industry where women often feel unsupported and voiceless, this solidarity is the real gift and will be much appreciated.”

To find out more about the Penelope Circle, or to express interest in joining, contact Maisie Pearson at

Fri 10 Jul - Sat 25 Jul