The Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative is a grassroots movement that is constantly evolving. So we welcome – no, we need – your ideas and involvement.
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Here are some words from playwright-activist Julia Jordan, on the movement to achieve gender parity for theater artists and and activities in New York (2010).
From the beginning, I’ve been amazed by the amount of energy and the number of voices that have lent themselves to addressing the lack of female written plays on our stages. I firmly believe that the next step in the fight is to include directors, designers, choreographers, composers and importantly actresses in the effort, as we are all affected. The bias is across the board. We prove each other’s cases. We also create work for one another.
I recently read that cognitive psychologists do not like the word “bias.” They prefer to call the phenomena “predictable cognitive errors.” Theaters that show bias are making errors in artistic and financial judgement. The behavior has been documented in field after field. It is a human problem. But it can be addressed.
We had a huge rise in the number of productions by women this year in NYC as compared to last. A far higher percentage of those female written plays were hits than those their male counterparts. This is to be expected. It doesn’t mean women are better writers, it means that there is a backlog of superior work by women that has not yet been tapped into yet, where as the male written plays have been far more combed over. When theaters realize the errors they have been making in programing have lowered their chances of success…. They will change their habits. They also need to realize that if audiences have a bias, it is in favor of work about women. That’s all we need to do, show them the error of their ways.