Last Friday the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) gave the “LPTW Seal of Approval” to 12 Off-Broadway theatres. There are 2 different seals a group could get, either for at least 50/50 representation in female playwrights or the same for female directors over the past five seasons.
LPTW awarded the Gold Seal to Ensemble Studio Theatre, for playwright and director parity; Playwrights Horizons, for playwright parity; and Soho Rep andLAByrinth Theatre Company, for director parity. The LPTW Seal went to Lincoln Center Theater, for playwright and director parity; MCC Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club, for playwright parity; and The Flea, The New Group,Rattlestick Playwrights Theater,Roundabout Theatre Company, and Signature Theatre Company, for director parity. –AmericanTheatre.org
This is a positive step for theater for gender parity in theatre and well needed. It shows signs that the goal of 50/50 by 2020 is quite achievable. Some theatres are going above and beyond the idea of 50/50 by 2020 and signing on to the jubilee which (while not solely focused on women) would create a season of theatre dedicated to playwrights who are NOT white cis men.
Still, there is one group that is still groups going largely underrepresented on-stage. One group addressed in THIS GUARDIAN ARTICLE is artists with disabilities. While individual productions by and with artists with disabilities are being produced they are not being done in critical mass. Without critical mass similar productions will not snowball into existence.
Now it may be that last week we read Pyretown by John Belluso which prompted me to research theatre by artists with disabilities, and it may be that we just passed the tenth anniversary of his passing, but it deeply saddened me to read about the lack of critical mass.
So this may just be a short post yelling into the aether that we are making progress but need to acknowledge we have a lot of short comings, but it felt worth posting. And if you feel like I have wasted your time… here is a link to an article critiquing Hamilton for not being as revolutionary as everyone is preaching that it is. Definitely read through the comments on it, because its the first place I’ve seen discussion about Hamilton that is not starry eyed review, but a critical look at the shows merits and short fallings.