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Small Gains Towards Parity for Female Playwrights in USA

22 Jul 2015 6:37 PM | Anonymous

"The Count" is a systematic gathering of data regarding the gender of playwrights whose plays are produced on USA non-profit theatre stages. "

Report by Cara Buckley of the New York TImes.


Roughly one-fifth of the productions staged at hundreds of theaters nationwide over the past three seasons were written by women, according to a study to be released Friday.

Overseen by the playwrights Julia Jordan and Marsha Norman, the study, called “The Count,” is to be updated each year. Until now, besides a handful of older analyses, it had been unclear just how many female playwrights were seeing their work staged, according to Ms. Jordan.

“We wanted to create a baseline,” she said, “and to document the change.”

Judging from the numbers, the picture for women is rosier than a decade ago. A 2002 report from the New York State Council on the Arts found that 17 percent of productions across the country had female playwrights. According to the new report, that figure now sits at 22 percent.

“That’s a significant increase,” Ms. Norman said. “If that could continue, we could get to where we need to be, which is parity.”

The report, which will be released and discussed at the national meeting of the Dramatists Guild of America, is the latest salvo in continuing efforts to tackle the underrepresentation of women in theater (not to mention in Hollywood).

While the recent Tony Awards ceremony made history by giving the prize for book and score of a musical for the first time to a team of women (Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori), advocates complained that an opportunity to raise awareness was missed because those were not presented on the television broadcast.

“The Count” focused on 2,508 productions at nonprofit theaters, which remain the breeding grounds for bigger productions ......"

Read the rest of the article here.

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