November 21, 2008

Equality Watch: Women Playwrights

A couple of weeks ago I attended a meeting where women playwrights met with high level creative personnel in the NY theatre business to discuss the paucity of opportunities for female playwrights. It was an impressively respectful meeting and a real dialogue was started. But the bottom line issue is: do the artistic directors feel the pressure to include women's voices in their seasons? I don't know how a non-profit theatre, which also gets grants should even be allowed to get a grant without having female voices a part of the season.

There are a myriad of reasons why women's plays don't rise up to the place where they can a) get read by the right people, b) get championed by the right people, and c) get a production.

Clearly, the message needs to be expanded beyond NY because the National Theatre in London just announced its 2009 season and from what I can tell there is nary a play by or directed by a woman. What year is this?

One of the organizers of the meeting Julia Jordan put together an introduction that laid out the tone for the evening. She has kindly allowed me to publish the piece which you can read here

Ideas for making change?