#Women in Theater

aac0f1f7d32c68622b961739696108cd-d3bujf5I just read Theresa Rebeck’s article “Broadway in Review” in the recent special issue of The Dramatist.

It’s concise, clear and to the point – and one of the fine points she makes is that women are grossly under-represented on Broadway – on the page and on the stage. Yet I am currently curating the solo show portion of a women’s festival,  Estrogenius, and about to curate another, my own Women at Work Festival. Both festivals have been running for years, Estrogenius is in its second decade.

I am reading dozens of scripts by women, with compelling women characters, many of which will also be directed by women. I have been directing plays, most of them by women, for the last two years. I recently started working on a few projects with male performers, for the first time in a few years.

My writing workshops are almost exclusively filled with women, writing novels and plays and screenplays and television pilots. My favorite techie is a woman, and most of the techies I know and love are women.

I know so many brilliant actresses, many of whom are writing solo shows, and producing them. Women are doing theatre everywhere. What does this mean? All these wonderful women making theatre, and yet on Broadway you can barely find them.

And we won’t even go into what’s happening on the Left Coast, who’s getting Left Out there.

This afternoon I was trying to figure out what more we can do to bring attention to what women are creating. I asked myself, “What would happen if I pledged to only present female playwrights’ work at my space? Could I get some press for that—perhaps persuade some high-profile actresses and playwrights to join in? Could we start a movement?”

Of course, I immediately thought of all the fine men in my community–actors, playwrights, directors– I can’t deprive them of a chance to do their show in my space, just because they are men.   That would be unfair.


2 thoughts on “#Women in Theater

  1. Could you think of it as extending opportunities to women (for a specified time frame) rather than depriving men of their chance to do a show in your space? Because clearly men are getting more chances than women, so it seems that if you have this idea to provide women with a very clear opportunity, it’s only because there is a need.

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