Log in

Log in

Press & Media

Press Release PDF Download    Communiqué de Presse en français


DATE: June 11, 2018


Name: Patricia L. Morin, Margaret McSeveney
Phone: +1 (415) 328-1050

Awards Announced for Theaters Around the World Promoting Gender Equity

Industry still has a long way to go, Centre for Women Playwrights finds


NEW YORK, USA, JUNE 11, 2018

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) today announced its 2018 50/50 Applause Awards, honoring theaters that produce plays written in equal measure by women and men. At the same time, the Centre finds that the vast majority of theaters around the world are coming up short in terms of gender equity.

The Centre received 103 nominations and only 62 qualified for the award.

The awards honor theaters at least half of whose productions in their July 2017- June 2018 seasons are written by women. Further, a theater must have staged three or more productions during the season and have plays authored by both male and female in their season. For the 2018 Awards, only Main Stage productions were taken into account, as that is where most theater budgets are spent and where playwrights receive the most media attention and career advancement.

The 62 recipients of this year’s awards are found throughout Australia, Canada, Finland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, United States, and Wales.

For the 2017-2018 season, approximately 60% of the qualifying theaters are repeat recipients. For example, Here Arts Center has made the list for six years in a row, while off the WALL has made it for five consecutive years. Awardees range from community and college theaters to internationally renowned public theaters.

 "We are pleased to see that there are some theaters that, year after year, provide opportunities for women playwrights. We salute their efforts," said 50/50 Applause Award Co-Chair Patricia L. Morin. "However, we will witness more economic discrimination toward women playwrights (smaller stages, less performances, less pay), as well as the constant promotion of male voices, unless more theaters step up and join the ranks to support 50/50 gender parity." 

Academic and charity organization research continues to support the notion that there are gender inequities in theatrical companies around the globe.

For example, the League of Professional Theatre Women recently released the results of its 2018 "Women Count" study. The percentage of women playwrights represented by the theaters profiled in the study ranged from 29% in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 to a season high of 37% in 2016-2017.  This looks like an upward movement to be welcomed, but a closer look at the figures shows that five theaters profiled in the study had no women playwrights at all in the 2016-2017 study season.

In late 2017, American Theatre magazine reported that, out of 513 not-for-profit theaters across the U.S., only 26% of their new plays and revivals were written by women, with 62% written by men and 11% co-written by women and men.

The Playwrights Guild of Canada reported that for the 2017 season in that country, productions by male playwrights continued to dominate -- 64%, which was the same as 2016 -- and shows by women playwrights still hovered around the 25% mark.

The National Voice, a publication of The Australian Writers Guild, reported that, of 95 shows surveyed for 2017 that included Australian playwrights -- including those staged by state theater companies -- 56% were written by men.

The 2018 50/50 Applause Awards come in the wake of a momentous year for women’s struggle for equality in many different arenas. The #metoo movement that began in October 2017 rocked the film, media and theater industries across the world. The movement has shown how a bullying and sexually abusive environment limits the participation and career success of women.

A majority of theater artistic directors do not stage the work of female and male playwrights in an equal proportion, and this has repercussions for society by suppressing women's stories and filling the theater stages with the male imagination. The male presence not only dominates artistic directors, it dominates the theater boards, governing boards, and public funding institutions throughout the world.

The bravery of those speaking out in the #metoo movement is echoed in the words of Millicent Fawcett, the early 20th century British suffragist who campaigned for women’s rights throughout her life, and whose motto was “Courage calls to courage everywhere”.

To have a professional theater scene that encourages, enables and celebrates women playwrights, governing boards, public funders and artistic directors around the world should ask themselves if the theater programs they are supporting are enabling gender discrimination in favor of men, and silencing the voices of the creative women who have equally valid things to say. The 50/50 Applause Award certificate should be as important as fire and public safety certificates, and their theaters should not be able to open their doors without it.

At the urging of feminist and journalist Caroline Criado Perez, a statue of Millicent Fawcett was placed in London’s Parliament Square in April. In the foreword to the Fawcett Society report “Sex & Power 2018", Perez writes: “Finally, we have to stop pretending that the path to equality is out of our hands. Power is never given freely. Liberty is never achieved by chance. It is achieved by design. So let’s start designing it.”

The 50/50 Applause Award recipients for the 2017-2018 season are: 

* Indicates a Repeat Recipient

* 16th Street Theater, Berwyn, IL   USA

Acadiana Repertory Theatre, Lafayette, LA   USA

* Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Little Rock, AR   USA

* Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley, CA   USA

Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

Belvoir St. Theatre, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, CA, USA

Burning Coal Theatre Company, Raleigh, NC   USA

Capital Stage Company, Sacramento, CA, USA

Catholic University of America, Hartke Theatre, Washington, DC   USA

* Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown, NJ, USA

* Central Works, Berkeley, CA, USA

Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

* Checkpoint Theatre, Singapore, Singapore

* City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Epic Theatre Company, Cranston, RI, USA

* Factory Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA, USA

* Globe Theatre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

* Globus Theatre @ the LAB, Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada

* Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Griffin Theatre Company, Kings Cross NSW, Australia

* HERE Arts Center, New York, NY, USA

* Horizon Theatre Company, Atlanta, GA, USA

Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA, USA

* Imago Theatre, Portland, Oregon, USA

Jungle Theater, Minneapolis, MN, USA

* Key City Public Theatre, Port Townsend, WA, USA

* Kitchen Theatre Company, Ithaca, NY, USA

* Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH   USA

La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA, USA

Lab Theater Project, Tampa, FL, USA

* Magic Theatre, San Francisco, CA, USA

* Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, CA, USA

Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Centenary Theatre Program of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA, USA

MCC Theater, New York, NY, USA

* Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company, Houston, TX   USA

New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch, NJ, USA

* Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL, USA

* off the WALL Productions, Carnegie, PA, USA

* Open Stage of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA   USA

* Paul Robeson Theatre, Buffalo, NY, USA

People's Light, Malvern, PA, USA

* Plan-B Theatre Company, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

* Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY, USA

Portland Stage Company, Portland, ME, USA

* Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

* Rep Stage Howard Community College, Columbia, MD, USA

* Round House Theatre, Bethesda, MD, USA

Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

* Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

* Shelterbelt Theatre, Omaha, NE, USA

* Shotgun Players, Berkeley, CA, USA

* Signature Theatre Company, New York, NY, USA

* South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins, MN, USA

* Synchronicity Theatre, Atlanta, GA, USA

* Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe, NM, USA

The Other Room, Cardiff, Wales, UK

* University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Theatre, Chattanooga, TN, USA

Wasa Teater, Vasa, Finland 

More information about the awards and theatre productions can be found at:

View the 50/50 Applause Awards 2018 video which showcases photos from over twenty theaters and production photos from a selection of their female authored plays on Youtube -

About ICWP:

ICWP started in 1988 with a mission to support women playwrights worldwide and bring attention to their work. The ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards were founded in 2012 to increase awareness and applaud theaters that produced a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights. 


Twitter: @icwp #icwp5050


Gender equity in theatre research

Feb 2018

DATE: Feb 16th 2018


Name: Patricia L. Morin, Margaret McSeveney
Phone: 01-415-328-1050

Nominations are open: 2018 ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards for Theatre Gender Parity

 (The World) - The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) is proud to sponsor the seventh annual 50/50 Applause Award, celebrating theatres who achieve gender equity for playwrights in their 2017-2018 Season.  The nomination window for the 2017-2018 theatrical season is open!

The balance of opportunity, employment and career prospects for female dramatists has lagged well behind their male counterparts. The sheer amount of academic research and published reports is staggering. Landmark events include, in 1978, the Feminist Theatre Study Group picketed five shows on London’s West End, through 2009 with an article by Marsha Norman and a 2010 speech by Theresa Rebeck and the 2016 outcry in Dublin, Ireland that gave birth to the movement #WakingtheFeminists.  There is an ever-brightening spotlight on theatre companies around the world who consistently produce the work of male playwrights at roughly double the rate of female playwrights. Activist groups and, in France, government committees, have urged theatre managements and artistic directors to implement gender equity policies when selecting works for their seasons.  The exponential growth of independent female-only  theatre companies is a symptom of the gender bias that has existed and still exists in the majority of large publicly funded theatres. 

Awards Co-chair Patricia L. Morin said “ We hope theatres everywhere will examine their own production output and see how they stack up in terms of playwrights’ gender and that their local subscribers and patrons will do the same. They can find the criteria we are using for the 2017 -2018 Applause Awards on our website and, if their local theatre qualifies, make a nomination.”

This year's nomination form will remain open until 15 March 2018 on the ICWP website, where you will also find links to videos, press releases, and news. Anyone may nominate eligible theatres. 

The eligibility criteria have changed from previous years. Here are highlights of the new qualifying criteria:

- Have at least three productions in their season

- Have plays by both female and male dramatists in their season

- At least 50% of the plays produced between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 are the work of female playwrights

- At least 50% of the total number of performances during that window are the work of female playwrights

- Only Main Stage productions will qualify where a company has several venues.

- Theatres may not have the development of works by women as their main mission statement

The guidelines are available at Please contact us if you need translation assistance. We have French and Spanish versions available.

Nominations may come from artistic directors, theatre employees and members of the public. Please share this information with your theatre friends and colleagues around the world! Recipients of the 2017/18 award will be announced in May 2018.

For more about the awards history and previous recipients, go to



Established in 1989, The International Centre for Women Playwrights promotes and supports women playwrights. We aim to help achieve a fair representation of the female imagination on the world’s stages. ICWP provides a place for peer support, knowledge-sharing, and play publication


Web Address:

 Download Press Release PDF


For Immediate Release Feb 5th 2018

DATE: Feb 5th 2018

Name: Patricia L. Morin, Margaret McSeveney
Phone: 01-415-328-1050
Web Address:

International Theatre Awards for Gender Equity - 50/50 Applause Awards

The International Centre for Women Playwrights celebrate theatres promoting women playwrights in 50% of their Season!

(The World) – The International Centre for Women Playwrights campaigns for gender equity for female dramatists across the world. This year sees their seventh Annual Awards to theatres which have produced works by female writers at least 50% of their season from 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018. Set against a background of the recent scandals of abuse towards women in the arts and media, the Awards committee sees the low employment rates of female playwrights as an economic abuse that needs to be highlighted continually, until parity is achieved.

In the last decade, research by the media and academics from the USA, Canada, UK and Australia, have uncovered the disturbing imbalance in favour of male playwrights in the subsidized theatre sector. In France, research shows that in the five National theatres the percentage of female-authored plays ranges from 19% - 30% for the years 2013-2017. The French Department of Culture has issued guidelines for producing companies to follow. Professional theatres across the world, like the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, have committed to take action to achieve gender equity in their programming. The ICWP 50/50 Applause Award will demonstrate how far they and other theatres have progressed. For the seventh annual 50/50 Applause Awards, where a theatre company operates several venues, only Main Stage productions will be taken into consideration. Research has shown that male-authored plays still dominate in Main Stages. College and University productions are also eligible to be nominated, as those are where future theatre professionals are trained, and their “ ethos” is important in the quest for equality.

Co-chair of the 50/50 Applause Awards committee, Patricia L. Morin, said, “We want to applaud professional theatres showing works by women at least half the time on Main Stages with their larger budgets, seating capacity and media attention. Our greater focus on the performance output of Colleges, Universities, and Theatre Education institutions, will reveal how the training of future theatre professionals is or is not reinforcing the current gender inequalities.”

Information on Theatres is gathered by a dedicated team of international volunteer researchers. Anyone, including theatre staff and members of the public can nominate a theatre they think qualifies under the 2017-2018 guidelines. The 50/50 Applause Awards are this year being championed by multi-award-winning playwright Lauren Gunderson who was announced as the most produced playwright in America in the 2017-2018 season by American Theatre Magazine and is a member of ICWP.

This year's nomination form will go live on February 15th

The guidelines are available at

Please contact us if you need translation assistance.

Please share this information with your theatre friends around the world! Recipients of the 2017/18 award will be announced May 30th, 2018. where there are also links to videos, press releases, and news

For more about the awards history and previous recipients, go to


Established in 1989, The International Centre for Women Playwrights promotes and supports women playwrights. We aim to help achieve a fair representation of the female imagination on the world’s stages. ICWP provides a place for peer support, knowledge-sharing, and play publication. It is our goal to see more gender equity in professional theatres and for women playwrights to sustain careers as dramatists.

Press releases 2017 PDF  Download

ICWP Is a 501- c - 3 Non Profit  Organization, incorporated in the State of Ohio, USA

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software