Last week we staged the first Civil Disobedience public debate of our 2019 ‘Pick Up A Brick’ programme at Fringe Central, about LGBTI-inclusive education. We had a fantastic afternoon with lots of interesting chat, so huge thanks to all who took part. This week it’s time for the ‘Pick UP A Brick: Art as Activism’ and ‘Bottoms Up’ (our queer mixer), but FIRST we have our kick-ass feminist event ‘Persistent & Nasty’, this Thursday afternoon – with three incredible women now confirmed for the panel!

We’re thrilled (and possibly a tiny bit star struck) to introduce you to the women who we’ve got signed up for our Persistent and Nasty panel so far, and we’ll be announcing more fierce females shortly, so watch this space!

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness is a Los Angeles-based actor and playwright. She is best known in the UK for playing tech kitten Penelope Garcia on the long running CBS crime drama Criminal Minds, which she has co-written four episodes of, including the series finale. Prior to landing that most excellent day job, Kirsten was – and still is – deeply involved in the LA theatre scene; she is a long-time member of Hollywood’s Theatre of NOTE and has been in shows all over town.

She is the star and executive producer of the film noir spoof Kill Me, Deadly, which can be found on many streaming platforms and can currently be heard on season two of the comedy podcast Voyage to the Stars. She is the recipient of the HRC Visibility Award, the Open Fist Excellence in Arts Award and the L.A. Drama Critics Award for best actress. In her spare time Kirsten can be found washing dishes at the Blinking Owl Distillery, which she co-owns in Santa Ana, California. She is in Edinburgh performing at the Fringe for the first time with two shows that she produced back home earlier this year, Fempire: Mess and Fempire: Cleo, Theo & Wu, both on at Assembly Rooms.

Rose Riley (representing ERA 50:50)

Rose is an actor, voiceover artist and activist. She has also dabbled in many a part-time job, as working in the creative industries typically requires, but when she does get to do what she loves her theatre credits include: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in the West End, Re:Home at The Yard, Tiger Country at The Hampstead Theatre, and the revival of Simon Stephen’s One Minute at The Vaults. Screen credits include internationally award-winning short film Eli, directed by Colin Gerrard, and indie feature film 90 Minutes, directed by Simon Baker, produced by Vertigo Films and El Capitan.

Rose is a Core Committee member and the Campaign Coordinator for ERA 5050, a grassroots organisation that is campaigning for gender equality on our stages and screens. Whilst working with ERA she has helped organise the ERA 5050 launch at BAFTA in February 2018; run and overseen projects that currently span research into gender diversity across the industry; worked with theatres on their gender diversity quotas, both on and off the stage; and helped organise the annual ‘badge bombing’ of award ceremonies (you may have seen the infamous ERA 5050 badge on the likes of Pheobe Waller-Bridge, Wunmi Mosaku, Denise Gough, Gemma Arterton, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Shazaad Latif to name a few). She is the co-host of ERA 5050’s podcast The New ERA, which launched in May of this year, and she is probably the first person to respond if you get in touch via email.

Carys Eleri

Carys is a BAFTA-nominated actress and singer from west Wales. Her acting career started in 2004, when she earned a two-year contract as a resident actor with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh language National Theatre of Wales. From 2015-2018 Carys played the lead character Myfanwy (a vicar) in Parch on S4C – earning a BAFTA nomination for her performance in 2017.

In recent years Carys has been part of the notorious Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon, singing backing vocals and occasionally taking the lead with some heavy metal vocals. In 2013, Carys won the Norman Beaton Fellowship and a five-month contract with the BBC, recording several radio plays for Radio 4. She is a New Scientist subscriber since 2010, and Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff), currently playing at Underbelly Cowgate, is her first written piece combining her passions for music, theatre, comedy, science and human beings.

Want to join us?

Our panel debates are all free, but ticketed, Fringe Central events.

Want to come along to our Persistent and Nasty event this Thursday and discuss female-identifying representation in the arts with Kirsten, Rose, Carys and our other guests? Here are the details:

Venue: Fringe Central
Date: Thursday 15th August 2019
Time: 15:30-17:30 (2 hours)
Tickets: You can order your free tickets here

You can also just show up before debate starts and ask for a ticket at the main Fringe Central reception desk, although it would be safer to reserve a ticket in advance in case we sell out.

More about Persistent and Nasty

Produced in associate with Civil Disobedience, Persistent and Nasty is a creative activism initiative for women and gender minorities in the stage and screen industries. We are committed to an intersectional approach that prioritises diversity and inclusion. Through a series of live events and regular podcasts, we aim to amplify the underrepresented voices in theatre and film. Our goal is to create a project that is safe and supportive, but that is also an act of protest. Persistent and Nasty is about changing the cultural narrative through the stories we tell.

You’ll find more information about Persistent and Nasty here.

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