Rethinking Gender Bias in Theater

Live Girls! Theater is committed to equalizing the gender disparity in playwriting. With all the fantastic playwrights we are surrounded with here at Live Girls!, it’s easy to forget that we still have a long ways to go.  And then, we come across something like Emily Glassberg Sands’ 2009 study on Gender Disparity in Playwrighting, and we are reminded of why we do this work.

Some highlights:

  • In reviewing information on 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists Guild and, an online database of playwrights, it was found that there were twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and that the men tended to be more prolific, turning out more plays.
  • In a blind study, it was found that male artistic directors rate scripts by males and females exactly the same. On the other hand, female artistic directors rate scripts by women significantly worse in terms of quality, economic prospects and audience response.
  • Of the 329 new plays and musicals produced on Broadway in the past 10 years, plays and musicals by women sold 16 percent more tickets a week and were 18 percent more profitable over all. Despite this, producers did not keep them running any longer than less profitable shows that were written by men.

For more details on Ms. Sands’ study check out these links:

New York Times article on the study The full published study Power Point presentation of research findings