Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Female playwrights 'discriminated against' in US

Last week Tracy Brabin blogged from the Vamps, Vixens and Feminists conference in London about issues around sexual equality on TV and the stage.

Now in the New York magazine, Winter Miller reports on a new study, Opening The Curtain On Playwright Gender, by Emily Glassberg Sands that shows discrimination against female writers.
In three separate studies...across 170 pages, Sands finds gender bias on the part of both men and women in script selection and production, and shows that it hurts theaters economically.
You can read more on Emily Glassberg Sands' blog, including the slides from her presentation. Update: As well as Tracy Brabin's report for us, there's now also a piece by Matthew Hemley in The Stage.

Update (29.06.09): You can now download the full text of Glassberg Sand's thesis, with it's striking conclusion that:
Scripts bearing female pen-names are deemed by artistic directors to be of lower overall quality and to face poorer economic prospects than otherwise identical scripts bearing male pen-names. In addition, artistic directors believe cast and crew will be less eager to work on a female-written script. Female artistic directors, in particular, deem scripts bearing female pen-names to be poorer fits with their theaters, and to face not only worker discrimination, but also customer discrimination. The severity of the discrimination against female playwrights appears to be more pronounced for women writing about women than for women writing about men.

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