The Second Woman

One of the finest examples of independent Australian theatre in years.

The Guardian

Virginia, a woman, waits. A door opens. A man, Marty, enters. They talk, they laugh, it’s awkward, it’s funny, it’s tense. They have a drink and eat and dance together. He leaves. Then she does it all over again, and again, 100 times for a full 24 hours.

None of the 100 different men, drawn from across the local community, will have met or rehearsed with her. While each random actor changes the meaning of the scene, it’s what they have in common that stays with you: whether you stay for one hour or 24, the relentless performance of gendered power becomes deeply etched in your mind.

Created by an all-female-identifying and non-binary team who capture and mix the action live from multiple cameras, The Second Woman is a brilliant, binge-worthy spectacle, inspired by the 1977 John Cassavetes film Opening Night.

Through the repetition of this intimate exchange, The Second Woman explores the generic and gendered conventions of emotionality, as well as the affective and relational nature of gender identity.

The Second Woman is simultaneously praise and critique, a performance piece that is as intellectually rigorous as it is a joy to watch.

Kill Your Darlings
Nat Randall performing in The Second Woman

Be part of the performance

The Second Woman requires a diverse range of male-identifying participants to perform in the show.

BAM are seeking men from all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be part fo the performance; no performing experience is required – non-performers are encouraged to apply.

Tell your New York friends!

Click here to register now


Nat Randall & Anna Breckon

Script & Direction
Anna Breckon & Nat Randall

Performed in New York, USA (2019) by Alia Shawkat

Performed in Toronto, Canada (2019) by Laara Sadiq

Performed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2018) by Zhu Zhi-Ying

Originally performed by Nat Randall

Video Direction
EO Gill & Anna Breckon

Camera Operation
EO Gill

Lighting Design
Amber Silk & Kayla Burrett

Sound Composition
Nina Buchanan

Set Design

Original Hair & Makeup Design
Sophie Roberts

Produced by Performing Lines

Information for Presenters

Presentation History

BAM Next Wave, Brooklyn Academy of Music
New York City, United States
BRAVE, Harbourfront Centre
Toronto, Canada
Adelaide Festival
Adelaide, SA
View full Presentation History

Full Presentation History for The Second Woman

BAM Next Wave, Brooklyn Academy of Music
New York City, United States
BRAVE, Harbourfront Centre
Toronto, Canada
Adelaide Festival
Adelaide, SA
National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Perth Festival at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Perth, WA
Liveworks, Performance Space, Carriageworks
Sydney, NSW
Dark Mofo, Salamanca Arts Centre
Hobart, TAS
Next Wave Festival, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Melbourne, VIC

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

The Second Woman is produced by Performing Lines and supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. This production was originally supported by Next Wave Festival 2016.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.