by Cynthia Wands
Back in May of this year, Laura Shamas wrote a wonderful article about the unknown numbers for women playwights on HowlRound:
Laura Shamas Article: Women Playwrights – Who is keeping count?
I’ve been checking back in the comments of this article to see if there were any updates, and yes, there were some great conversations about this issue. But then it seems, again, that the issue is dead, and will remain dead until it’s brought out again. TCG is working on a demographic survey platform called REPRESENT to create reports on gender parity at the board, staff, and artist level. And it’s not yet available.
I guess I was hoping to hear of some news, progress, or initiative that is driving through actual opportunities and visibility for women playwrights. But then I guess that’s my day dream world, where I see more women as artistic directors, dramaturgs, and stage directors. I know that day is in the minds of a lot of women. And I have a dear friend, who is a male playwright, who insists that women get many more opportunities than men to submit their work because “women are the hot ticket” now for play development. I have no idea where he came up with that one. I really think he’s deluded, but then, he’s a dear friend and they tend to be that way.
Along with this idea of counting, this past year I was trying to find tickets to a Broadway show – I wanted to support a show that had been written by a woman playwright, and I couldn’t find one. Again. This year. Sometimes I’ve been able to see shows here or in New York, that women have written that have been produced in large, celebrated theatres. But not often. But I will keep looking.