Theatre Unbound - Did You Know - Productions

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In a typical year, less than 20% of the plays produced in the United States are written by a woman.

The New York State Council on the Arts’ Report on the Status of Women noted that “According to the 2000-01 season preview in American Theatre magazine, among the 1,900 Theatre Communications Group member theatre productions, 23% of the productions were directed by women and 20% had a woman on the writing team”, but that the “season of 2001-02 as listed in American Theatre magazine actually shows a decline [in the percentage of plays produced by women], with directors at 16% and playwright representation at 17%.”

Emily Glassberg Sands reported in her 2009 Princeton thesis, “Opening the Curtain on Playwright Gender,” “in the 2008/2009 New York Broadway season as it has been put forth, the percentage of plays written by women will amount to only 12.6% according to theaters‘ announcements. This same figure one century ago, for the 1908/1909 New York season, was 12.8% according to the Internet Broadway Database.”

These percentages are eerily similar to those for women as corporate officers of Fortune 500 companies (16%), university presidents (23%), newspaper publishers (18%), and members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate (17%), as reported in The White House Project Report Benchmarking Women’s Leadership.