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Centre Stage

A blog for women-related theatre issues worldwide.

  • 06 Aug 2015 3:51 PM | Anonymous

    The artistic director of a Minnesota theatre group has responded to a letter from Doug Wright, president of the Dramatists Guild, which used the words "arrogant" and "cowardly" to describe guidelines posted by the Words Players Theatre of Rochester, MN, for its planned 2015 Original Short Play Festival.

    In an Aug. 4 letter to Daved Driscoll, artistic director of Words Players Theatre, Wright took issue with guidelines that said the theatre's directors and casts reserved the right to change submitted playscripts in any way they chose, while offering the playwrights no money for the use of their plays.

    Driscoll told Aug. 5 that he responded to Wright seeking his advice on how to re-draft the submission guidelines "to make clear that we do, in fact, ask for author permission to make changes."

    Here is the complete text of Wright's letter, followed by the published guidelines.

    Mr. Driscoll,


    <a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' border='0' alt='' /></a> I write to you today as President of the Dramatists Guild of America, the national association of playwrights, lyricists and composers, with over 7000 members around the world. We at the Guild were dismayed to read your call for submissions for the Words Players Theater's 8th Annual Original Short Play Festival, in which you announce shockingly errant guidelines for festival submissions.

    Read more ...

  • 06 Aug 2015 3:44 PM | Anonymous

    Scottish Women's groups  will amplify the voices of those women marginalised and rarely heard in world societies.

    "  SCOTTISH women’s groups are launching a new project called #FeministFest to coincide with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a bid to eradicate sexism in entertainment and shine the spotlight on shows which explore human rights issues.

    Endgender and YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement – are working to highlight women’s voices, which they claim are all too often silent at the Edinburgh Festival.

    #FeministFest will bring together a group of women from across Scotland, most of whom have never had the opportunity to see a show at the festival before, and offer training to review shows, interview performers, and blog about their experiences.

    This year’s Fringe festival, together with the International Book and Just Festivals, offers a host of exciting productions which explore issues of gender, identity, LGBTQI and human rights issues, with many shows explicitly advertising their feminist credentials "


  • 22 Jul 2015 6:37 PM | Anonymous

    "The Count" is a systematic gathering of data regarding the gender of playwrights whose plays are produced on USA non-profit theatre stages. "

    Report by Cara Buckley of the New York TImes.


    Roughly one-fifth of the productions staged at hundreds of theaters nationwide over the past three seasons were written by women, according to a study to be released Friday.

    Overseen by the playwrights Julia Jordan and Marsha Norman, the study, called “The Count,” is to be updated each year. Until now, besides a handful of older analyses, it had been unclear just how many female playwrights were seeing their work staged, according to Ms. Jordan.

    “We wanted to create a baseline,” she said, “and to document the change.”

    Judging from the numbers, the picture for women is rosier than a decade ago. A 2002 report from the New York State Council on the Arts found that 17 percent of productions across the country had female playwrights. According to the new report, that figure now sits at 22 percent.

    “That’s a significant increase,” Ms. Norman said. “If that could continue, we could get to where we need to be, which is parity.”

    The report, which will be released and discussed at the national meeting of the Dramatists Guild of America, is the latest salvo in continuing efforts to tackle the underrepresentation of women in theater (not to mention in Hollywood).

    While the recent Tony Awards ceremony made history by giving the prize for book and score of a musical for the first time to a team of women (Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori), advocates complained that an opportunity to raise awareness was missed because those were not presented on the television broadcast.

    “The Count” focused on 2,508 productions at nonprofit theaters, which remain the breeding grounds for bigger productions ......"

    Read the rest of the article here.

  • 11 Jun 2015 7:29 PM | Anonymous

    ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards are cited in American Theatre Magazine article written by Martha Richards.

    There is a growing awareness of the gender imbalance in almost all areas of professional theatre in many parts of the world, despite the fact that women make up the majority of audiences going to see live theatre. 

    A proposal for collaboration by the many organisations currently campaigning to change this was put forward by Martha Richards at a conference in Toronto, Canada.

    " We have proven that gender discrimination is a persistent problem in theatre; now we need to figure out how to fix it. As we look at the field, we can see that women all over the world are trying to address this issue with various strategies. What would happen if we could find a way to coordinate these efforts and maximize their impact? Could we reach a tipping point where the barriers for women theatre artists would finally come crashing down?"

    ICWP received a mention as one of the advocacy organisations with an active program to bring attention and approval to professional theatres who produce the work of female playwrights at least 50% of their season.

    A fundamental issue has to do with funding. Public bodies who dispense tax-payers money to subsidise theatres, have a duty to ensure that those funds are spent fairly and not used to prop up the current male-biased programmes that are the norm in many parts of the world.

    This article outlines seven proposals to achieve gender equity for  women in theatre

  • 24 Apr 2015 9:59 AM | Anonymous


    Artemisia, a Chicago theatre that produces women-driven plays, will

    present the American Premiere of Belfast Girls, by award-winning Irish writer Jaki McCarrick

    Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 6:00 pm, with an additional matinee on Saturdays at 3:00 pm.

    Preceding its American premiere are non-stop accolades for Belfast Girls from overseas.  McCarrick has been long listed for the Irish Laureate Award and shortlisted for the 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Belfast Girls also received a well-regarded staged reading by Artemisia in Chicago last year, which set the tone for this highly-anticipated premiere.

    In Belfast Girls, Jaki McCarrick dramatizes Irish history.  On the cusp of a great societal revolution, five street women orphaned by the Irish Famine embark on a journey of love, betrayal and adventure, hopeful they will find a fresh start in a new land.  The five “Belfast Girls” are dramatized based on the real-life women who sought passage in 1850 aboard the Inchinnan, a ship bound for Australia.

    McCarrick is currently in negotiations to adapt the play for film and has recently been long listed for the Irish Laureate Award.   “I am thrilled that Belfast Girls is premiering in Chicago, a city whose appetite for cutting-edge stories is legendary,” says McCarrick.  “And Artemisia’s vision of bringing female-driven plays to the fore makes it even an even greater compliment.  I’m so looking forward to being in Chicago for the opening weekend.” 

    “This is a terrific story, one that reflects the Irish immigrant experience so deeply rooted in Chicago.  It’s an amazing adventure that is packed with non-stop action, great characters and shattering discoveries,” says Julie Proudfoot, Artemisia’s Artistic Director.

    Tickets are now on sale on Artemisia’s website at

    Read More Production Details Here


    The latest on Jaki McCarrick and Belfast Girls!

    On Jaki -

    Interview on Windy City Irish Radio

  • 22 Apr 2015 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    (TORONTO, ON – April 22, 2015) Equity in Theatre (EIT) is pleased to announce the release of its recent research study, “Achieving Equity in Canadian Theatre: A Report with Best Practice Recommendations,” by Dr. Michelle MacArthur.

    Equity in Theatre is a multi-pronged and multi-stakeholder initiative designed to help redress and rectify existent gender inequities in the theatre industry.

    As a first step, EIT engaged Dr. Michelle MacArthur to generate a preparatory research study, the purpose of which is two-fold:

    1. to provide an update on the current status of women in Canadian theatre; and,
    2.  to analyze past equity initiatives and related follow-up actions at home and abroad, in theatre and elsewhere, culminating in a series of “best practice” recommendations.
    The idea with this is to ensure that we do not repeat past mistakes or waste time reinventing the wheel, but rather that we capitalize on successful gains and maximize our impact.

    The report’s findings will serve as a foundational framework for EIT as it moves forward, for instance, informing the proceedings of the upcoming Symposium, and pointing the way toward possible future actions. It is our hope that the EIT report will serve as a source of inspiration, and act as a catalyst ­for change, for individuals and institutions, in the theatre sector and beyond.

    Are you wondering how women fare in the current climate, and what can be done to help improve the situation? Check out the EIT report to find out! You can view the study in its entirety, or peruse a four-page Executive Summary with Study Highlights, by visiting the EIT website at:

    With this report, and a new online presence, Equity in Theatre will continue to foster dialogue on an (inter)national scale, develop social actions that will help effect change, and generate greater awareness of and exposure to Canadian women in theatre. To find out more, visit the EIT website (

    Our heartfelt thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for making EIT and this report possible!


    Attachments area Preview attachment EIT Research Report Press Release Apr 22 2015.pdf
  • 21 Nov 2014 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    The Dramatists Guild, USA, devoted a full page of the ir November 2014 issue to this year's ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards announcement.

    The Awards are presented to professional theatres around the world which produce the works of women playwrights at least 50% of their season.

    The 50% calculation covers number of productions and length of run.

    You can download and read the Dramatists Guild Issue  at this link.

  • 15 Oct 2014 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    The League of Professional Theatre Women in New York, USA are extending an invitation to a week of amazing events.

    When: Saturday, October 25 - Monday, November 3

    What: As part of the Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award, honoring the 2014 awardee Patricia Ariza from Colombia, South America and celebrating the work of 20 other nominees from 18 additional countries around the globe.

    Hosted by:
    Joyce Maio/Sophia Romma,
    International Committee Chairs.

    Melody Brooks/Gwynn MacDonald, Award Chairs.

    Please note the schedule will be frequently updated
    check back before each event

    All RSVP’s to

    Event Poster      Read more on the LPTW Website

    LPTW Event New York Flyer

  • 15 Sep 2014 9:28 PM | Anonymous

    The International Centre for Women Playwrights is thrilled to report the extraordinary level of international support that is represented by the recipients for this year’s 50/50 Applause Awards, which sets out to recognize theatres that produced 50% or more women playwrights in their season of shows.

     For the first time in the history of the awards, ICWP invited the public to nominate theatres that had produced the work of women playwrights throughout the world.

    We are proud to announce 67 recipients from nine countries for the 2014 awards. The list includes theatres in Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States. 

    The full list of theatres , plays and playwrights can be viewed here.

    There are fourteen repeat recipients who have demonstrated gender parity in more than one season.  Meet some of the theaters in our multi-lingual video.

  • 26 Jul 2014 7:42 PM | Anonymous

    Julie Crosby, who had served as the producing artistic director of the Women's Project Theater, gave an exclusive interview to about the differing accounts of why she left the organization.

    "My favorite line this year has been, 'Why don't you just produce hits?'" Julie Crosby said recalling a meeting with the board of the Women's Project Theater. "I thought that was one of the best questions I got this year from a board member.

    "I really prefer the flops," she jokingly added. They're really just so much easier."

    The board member's question referred to the lack of revenue brought in by productions put on by Women's Project Theater, a 36-year-old theatre dedicated to presenting works written and directed by women, of which Crosby had served as producing artistic director since 2006.

    Read More on the website...

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