There have been some strides in gender parity, with some recent polls and information confirming that parity is being reached with some theater art positions, but staying stagnant in others.
The newest report in the League of Professional Theatre Women's Women Count, compiled by Martha Wade Steketee and Judith Binus, reviews 515 unique productions, ranging from the 2013-2014 season to 2017-2018. 47% of the productions had female directors, an increase of 7%, while the most recent season had the most female playwrights, a report of 41% up from 36%.
In 2017-2018 season, however, women had the lowest amount of representation in the fields of sound and lighting design, with 21% and 23%.
Though the pool of theaters could be considered a small sample size for comparison, it is indicative of what we all see in theaters across the world. For more information and a great summary on the report, Ryan McPhee has written an exceptional article for Playbill.
In another take by Playbill, Women in Theatre, Resetting the Stage, a panel interview with 5 female theater directors , Margot Bordelon, Kathleen Marshall, Leigh Silverman, Rebecca Taichman, and Whitney White all agree that parity "is a fantasy" as expressed by Silverman.
Whitney White expressed similar frustrations, that she is not allowed to fail, as there is a feeling of 'scarcity' as a female, black director.
The video embedded in the article reinforces the passion these women have for their art and their craft, and how hard they must work to have their seat at the table. It is definitely worth a watch.
Whichever opinion currently held, that there is great progress, or stagnation, or defeat, it is worth reviewing the recent work Playbill has written on gender parity, and taking a break to celebrate the bit of progress, however small.
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