Sunday, 3 October 2010

We couldn't help noticing ...

We’re really pleased that the theatre companies have taken responsibility for a more than token inclusion of female directors in their 2011 seasons. Perhaps they were inspired by the many and various forums, events, newspaper articles, and blog posts bemoaning the paucity of women directors and writers when last year's subscription seasons were announced? But ... we couldn’t help noticing ...

1. Sydney Theatre Company
Main Season:
In The Next Room by Sarah Ruhl (American) female playwright.
Bloodland is listed as ‘story by Kathy Marika, Stephen Page and Wayne Blair’.
But it is as yet unwritten, according to Stephen Page, who spoke for it at the season launch. Don’t know that you can count this in terms of female writer numbers really ...

So … That’s 1 (overseas) female playwright in a season of 12 plays.

2. Belvoir Street Theatre
Neighbourhood Watch by Lally Katz.

The Dark Room by Angela Betzien.

That’s 2 plays by (Australian) female playwrights in an overall season of 13 plays.

3. Griffin Theatre Company
Main season:
This Year's Ashes by Jane Bodie.

Independent Season:
Smashed by Lally Katz.

That’s 2 out of 8.

4. Ensemble Theatre (and yes, we know they don’t receive public/government arts subsidy, but still ... )

No female writers in a season of 8 plays.

So … out of 41 plays being presented by/through Sydney professional mainstage theatre companies in 2011 there are just 5 plays by female writers, and one of those is by an American, and 2 are by (bless her!) Lally Katz.

This comes to (approximately) 12%.

And who buys the tickets? Mostly women, we know. So ... predominantly female audiences are listening to ... predominantly male voices.

Theatre companies all ... that’s pathetic actually, don’t you think?

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