Writing the Changing World — The Count
by Robin Byrd
Last night at the Lilly Awards, the Dramatists Guild gave a presentation on The Count (a national survey showing which theaters are producing the work of women and which are not). Marsha Norman, Julia Jordan, Lisa Kron, and Rebecca Stump went over the data and spoke on why parity matters.
Seasons used for the study were 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14; the Count is an ongoing annual project which means the data will be tracked and reported for each season going forward. The national percentage of productions for the past three seasons for women playwrights is 22.18%. The project is managed by Julia Jordan of the Lilly Awards and Rebecca Stump of the Dramatists Guild.
The Count has been six years in the making, Julia Jordan and Marsha Norman began the process in February 2014 with funding from the Lilly Awards and the Dramatists Guild to do a collaborative study to determine how many women playwrights are produced in the US. The data was reviewed by Lilei Xu, a statistician and economist.
According to this study, between 2011 and 2014 74% of the productions were plays, the rest were musicals; 62% were new work, the rest were revivals. 12% were written by writers of color, 88% were white.
In August 2015, research and data collection begins for the 2014-2015 season.
It was absolutely wonderful to see the presentation at the national conference. LA FPI was mentioned as one of the groups across the nation discussing parity. Lisa Kron suggested in her speech that theaters should check the Kilroys List, if having problems locating plays by female playwrights.
We all laughed…
but what is not funny is the fact that we still need to have this conversation.
For the complete report containing more thorough data, please check the Lilly Awards (thelillyawards.org and the Dramatists Guild www.dramatistsguild.com) websites.