Our social innovation program (SiG@MaRS) works with many female social entrepreneurs who are creating a new path outside stereotypical roles. To celebrate them and the other “fearless women” making a difference, SiG held an event featuring Judith Thompson’s play, Body & Soul at the Tarragon Theatre last Tuesday. There, SiG@MaRS and the Ontario Trillium Foundation announced a feasibility study for the School for Social Entrepreneurs based on the UK model.

Julia Moulden, author of We are the New Radicals, asked the room of 100+ entrepreneurial women, “Do you hear that? It’s the sound of women rising”. Her position is that today’s fearless women are on a mission, “and this time we intend to save the world.”

Judith Thompson is known for giving voice to people whose voices are not heard. She identifies her work as “investing time and research that turned into a career … and those voices got out into the world.”

Body & Soul represents a leap of faith taken by Judith and her collaborators, Lois Fine and Brenda Surminski, which together with time, energy, a $20K loan and a $10K grant, has paid off – the run is completely sold out.

The play is a collective creation “about the second act of a woman’s life” – 12 women tell their own stories, bringing their lives to life onstage. Each woman represents the potential of every person to engage in life and respond to both joy and adversity with creativity and strength. From the post show discussion, I’d say we all left the theatre with 12 new friends and a good dose of inspiration.

The next day, my colleague, Jen White, who had to miss the event, asked me, “Did anyone Twitter?”

What? Twitter? As I was wagging my finger at her and saying, “It’s not the done thing in the theatre, darling,” I was struck by the thought, “Why not?” We are talking about voices rising, right? We are pro social tech and limitless networks and real time and all things good and open.

So, Jen and I propose the following Twitter rules for theatre:

  1. soundless keyboard;
  2. mute mode;
  3. back row only;
  4. low light.

Oh, and it goes without saying that you must tweet about something important. (Allyson Hewitt did tweet, but only after the event.)

Why not? The Fringe Festival (for Toronto’s theatre) is coming up July 1-12. To Tweet, or not to Tweet…

Judith Thompson’s Body & Soul – A celebration of fearless women from SiG @ MaRS on Vimeo.

Cheryl May

Cheryl used to advise social entrepreneurs at MaRS. She’s interested in social, environmental and cultural initiatives and organizations, as well as ideas for promoting essential services in the digital age. See more…