Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gender Debate

The debate over the gender disparities in theatre and especially in produced playwrights continues. TCG's publication American Theatre Magazine carried an article this month that really looked into the matter from a human perspective and cleared up some of the inflated and inflammatory messages from the Princeton report. Marsha Norman's article pointed out a very interesting fact:

The next time you're in a theatre lobby, look up. Odds are, the patron named over the entrance to the theatre is a woman. Women like the theatre. Women buy 70 percent of theatre tickets sold, and make up 60 percent of the audience. But year after year, they are mainly offered plays written by men. Even when the story is about a woman, the play will almost certainly have been written by a man.

He article has already pointed out that women write 30% of the material that is produced on stages in the United States. How is it then that the majority of the consumers are not represented in the majority of the product? Are American audiences really that complacent that they'll attend what they are told to attend? There is much much more to this issue than that and Norman does a nice job starting the discussion. But this is a much bigger issue that can be contained in a single article. Is our whole society really this biased?

How do you feel? Should we see more plays by women? If not, you'd better have a good reason for thinking so.

Happy Birthday: Terrance McNally (b. 1939)

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