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Centre Stage

A blog for women-related theatre issues worldwide.

  • 03 Mar 2018 5:23 AM | Anonymous

    Nominations are coming in for the ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards. 

    Theatres and theatre fans are nominating theatres around the world that are achieving 50/50 gender equity for female playwrights. 

    We are encouraging everyone who enjoys live theatre and wants to see that plays by women playwrights are given the same ratio of productions, promotion and reward as plays authored by male playwrights. 

    It is not only important for the female playwrights themselves that their work is shown on main stages of theatres around the globe, but it is also important for society that the stories, points of view and aspirations find a place in the cultural landscape of every nation.

    Lauren Gunderson introduced the 2018 Awards with this encouraging video. 

    The Deadline for Nominations for the 50/50 Applause Awards is March 15. Guidelines and nomination form can be found here

  • 04 Sep 2017 2:03 AM | Anonymous
         In the news, the policy directive on reinstating the ban on transgender soldiers from serving in the military was issued to the Pentagon from the President of the United States. Add to that the recent White House fallout regarding the violence in Charlottesville by white supremacist and neo-Nazis, race relations and equality for the LGBTQ have been set back from progress. Theater should be a powerful voice to counter these dangerous regressions. Geva Theater Center with the Blackfriars Theater's current production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" boldly showcases the casting of women for all roles even for the male characters. The set and atmosphere is a speakeasy in the 1920's with flowing background jazz music and five original songs for the play.

         From Jeff Spevak's article in the Democrat & Chronicle (D&C), Blackfriar's artistic and managing director Danny Hoskins said that the line-up of productions "paid attention to the social and political climate we live in." He wanted to give voice and empower the women in the community.

         From Susan Trien's article in D&C, she quoted "Twelfth Night" director Alexa Scott-Flaherty explaining her idea, "In Shakespeare’s time, men played all of the female roles, like Cleopatra and Juliet, and (audiences) accepted it." She wanted to make the story more accessible to their patrons with a fun atmosphere and Shakespeare's role reversals with women running the show.

    Everyone who once studied or are studying in all girls' and all boys' schools do surely know that in stage productions, they play all roles, they don't go out and just hire the other gender roles. Thus, it shouldn't be a big deal if women play male characters or men play female characters. However, in the face of "encouraged" bigotry and misogyny (by powers-that-be), the voices and exposure of minorities, people of color, diverse women of ages and body types must be at the forefront to spread the messages of tolerance, acceptance and equality. Gender issues in any way or form must again become a political statement.
  • 23 Jul 2017 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    The Kilroys (a volunteer organization) and International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) have one common goal: the focus on and empowering of women playwrights. If ICWP has The 50/50 Awards, The Kilroys has The List. This 2017's The List recommends 37 diverse plays written by women of color and transgender men and women in the United States; these new plays are either un- or under-produced (once or twice).

    According to founder Ms. Annah Feinberg in answer to my email, "... we hope that The List is a tool that they (the playwrights) can use while advocating for themselves, and that their supporters can use while advocating for them. It's a stamp of approval that, at least anecdotally, has helped writers move forward in their careers." It can indeed be a source of pride for the chosen playwrights because the ones who nominated them for The List are artistic directors, literary managers, and other theater professionals. "We try to garner as much attention possible for The List itself, which helps bring attention to the writers on it," wrote Ms. Feinberg. 

    In the American Theatre article, The Kilroys Are Here With More Plays by Women, The List functions as a resource for directors and producers looking for good writers. The Kilroys also encouraged women and transgender playwrights to list their plays in the New Play Exchange so that their works can be known to theatre professionals and their subscribers. The List began in answer to the impression and remarks of theatre and artistic directors that there were few women playwrights and a dearth of new works.

    Upon reading the summary of the 37 endorsed plays, it is striking how interesting and relevant they all are. There are issues set in different countries but their themes are universal; there are re-telling of Greek myths; there are political and social issues, some are based on actual events; and there are diverse family dramas. The effort to come up with a list for women's works is laudable, but it is regrettable that everyone has to wait for theatre companies and/or producers to bring these beautiful works onstage. The Kilroys, composed of 13 very accomplished women, has looked where no one normally looked: into the periphery of women/trans playwrights of color in the US. If only there could be more networking, resources and organizations with sustained plans to publish and produce new works by women/trans playwrights then women's works can gain momentum year after year. -dalt                


    The Kilroy's. (2017). The List. Retrieved July 18, 2017 from  /list-2017/

    Tran, D. (June 23, 2017). The Kilroys Are Here With More Plays by Women. Retrieved July 18, 2017 from

  • 11 Oct 2016 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    DTC ( Darlinghurst Theatre Company) of Sydney Australia, has taken steps to ensure that its 2017 Season showcases the works of female playwrights and theatre artists in equal measure with male playwrights. They have also funded a festival of works by female playwrights as a development opportunity. 

    The findings are reported by Women in Theatre and Screen (WITS) an organisation set up a year ago to monitor the employment of female writers and directors by Sydney Theatres

    WITS co-founder Maryann Wright said, " Not only has DTC's changed attitude manifested in their 2017 programming, but DTC also offered invaluable in-kind support to give a platform to Sydney's best Independent female theatre-makers by housing WITS' inaugural women's theatre festival, Festival Fatale, in October this year. DTC has set an impressive example for the rest of the industry, and showed that with initiative, parity can happen almost instantly." 

    Read the full article here

  • 15 Sep 2016 8:10 PM | Anonymous

    Celebrating gender parity on five continents for our 5th anniversary!

    The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP)  is thrilled to report that a record-breaking number of recipients will receive the 2016 50/50 Applause Awards, which recognizes theatres that produced 50% or more women playwrights in their 2015/16 season of shows. ICWP defines 50/50 by the number of qualifying performances in a theatre’s season. This allows a concrete measurement of the resources being devoted to women playwrights.

    For the awards’ 5th anniversary, ICWP recognized 107 recipients in ten countries on five continents. The list includes theatres in Australia, Canada, England, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. Approximately 32% of the theatres are repeat recipients, demonstrating gender parity in two or more seasons. Recipients range from community and college theatres to internationally renowned theatres. Meet some of the theatres in the ICWP celebration video.

    For several years, the international performing arts industry has been scrutinized for its underrepresentation of women playwrights as well as women in leadership positions in theatre. According to the League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) 2015 study “Women Count: Women Hired Off-Broadway 2010-2015”, women playwrights were produced 28%-36% of the time. Among ten Australian theatres, 39% of original and adapted works were by women (The National Voice 2106, Australian Writers Guild). The UK’s Purple Seven study “Gender in Theatre” of 2012-2015 seasons reported 28% of playwrights were female.

    Though these numbers are higher than they have been in the past, women playwrights are still not receiving their due, and there are many potential reasons. The LPTW study points out that new works by women are more likely to be produced today than those by women in the past, although there are many classic women playwrights. The AWG cites that commissioned adaptations are where women are making the least amount of headway.

    Read More

  • 23 Jun 2016 5:43 PM | Anonymous
    The Kilroys  “The List,” features 32 industry-recommended new plays by female and trans playwrights. The Los .Angeles.-based group of playwrights and producers is committed to promoting gender parity for playwrights in the American theatre.

    Previous studies over recent years have shown that around 22 percent of productions in regional theatres over the previous three years were written by women.

    THe Kilroys surveyed 230 influential new play leaders — Artistic Directors, Literary Managers, Professors, Producers, Directors, and Dramaturgs — who had read or seen at least 40 new plays in the past year

    Each respondent recommended 3 to 5 plays each, identifying a total of 569 plays as among the best unproduced work they had encountered in the past year

    THE LIST comprises the top 5.6% of those plays — the 32 most recommended plays from this survey, which each received between 5 and 14 nominations

    Red the full Kilroy's List here:

    • 22 Nov 2015 11:02 AM | Anonymous

      Karen Jeynes from South Africa, President of the International Centre for Women Playwrights, is in New York to attend the 2015 International Emmy Awards. Karen is the lead writer for the company `Puppet Nation ZA ' which is a topical satirical programme. 

      From Wikipedia: 

      ZANEWS (now also known as Puppet Nation ZA) is a South African satirical puppet show first produced in 2008 by Both Worlds, a Cape Town based production company. The show is a daily and weekly satirical news programme in the form of a mock puppet television newscast and features on both the web and TV. ZANEWS features key local and international political figures and celebrities. For eight seasons, ZANEWS has been using its puppet cast as mouthpieces for satirical commentary on South Africa’s public space.[1]

      Inspired by the cult British television series Spitting Image along with the French equivalent, Les Guignols,[2] ZANEWS has been aired on the web and TV since 2009 on a range of media platforms, the most prolific of these being the show’s online presence.[3] The show’s motto of 'Make Laugh. Not War’ has perpetuated the show’s portrayal of South African and international politicians and celebrities in its news format. The show is the only South African satirical puppet show, but is somewhat similar to the Kenyan produced The XYZ Show.[4]

      In October 2015 it was announced that Puppet Nation ZA is a nominee for Best TV Comedy in the 43rd International Emmy Awards

      Read more on Wikipedia 

      You can watch 61 brilliantly funny episodes of this comedy show on the Daily Motion website

    • 09 Nov 2015 3:41 PM | Anonymous
      #WakingTheFeminists calls on the board of the National Theatre of Ireland to lead the way in establishing equality for women artists.

      On Wednesday 28 October, the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre, launched its programme to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising – an event that ultimately led to the founding of the Irish State. The Abbey Theatre and its members were actively involved in both the Rising itself and the debates around the founding of the Republic.

      1 out of the 10 plays programmed in the 2016 programme are written by a woman – 3 out of 10 are directed by women. #WakingtheFeminists is a campaign by Irish artists to demand change of the systems that allow for such chronic under-representation of the work of women artists at the Abbey, and by extension in the Irish arts industry. There is consensus that the problem is bigger than any one organization or individual, and so rigorous discussion and action is needed to realize a new artistic landscape that reflects Irish society, and represents ‘all the children of the nation equally’.

      THE NEXT PUBLIC MEETING for #WakingTheFeminists will take place on Thursday, November 12th at 1 pm at a Dublin city centre venue to be confirmed.

      Women working in Irish theatre are invited to take part at a photo-call at 12.30 pm

      Parents without childcare on the day are welcome to bring young children.

      This is open event for people of all genders working in Irish theatre.

      The event will be live-tweeted, and we’re looking at other ways of making it viewable from afar. We’re hoping to film/record it too.

      Check out their website:

    • 09 Nov 2015 3:34 PM | Anonymous

      Portland, OR: ARTemis, a national organization empowering women’s voices and roles in the arts, has presented its first-ever award to Portland playwright Kathleen Tomko. After a year of development, fundraising and planning, ARTemis is now able to provide direct financial support to female artists. Their premiere award enables Ms. Tomko to participate in a new play workshop with Bump in the Road Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

      “This was a chance for Kathleen to get feedback on her writing that she’s not received at this point in her career,” says ARTemis co-founder Sam Hull.  Read More

    • 22 Sep 2015 5:44 PM | Anonymous
      On 21st September ICWP Announced the Theatres who have received the ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards for gender equity in theatre.

      60 theatres in 9 countries have qualified for the 50/50 Applause Awards for producing the work of women playwrights 50% or more of the time in their 2014-2015 season. 

      Read the full list of theatres, plays, and playwrights on the Awards page.  

      Below you can watch the celebration video. 

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