CMU School of Drama

Thursday, March 30, 2017

17 Living Female American Playwrights You Should Know in 2017

ArtsBoston: Gender parity is a major focal point of discussion in the theater today. It is important to recognize that the majority of the classic Western theatrical canon has been written by white men. Likewise, it is imperative that we, as artists today, do something: not only discuss the inequity but actively seek to challenge it. In 2013, a group of playwrights and producers based in Los Angeles got together and formed a group, The Kilroys. Their mission is to mobilize artists in the field to support one another, and “to end the systemic underrepresentation of female and trans* playwrights in American theater.”


Marisa Rinchiuso said...

The statistics represented in the article are striking. I knew women, particularly women of color, were not well represented in playwrighting and directing, but I didn't know exactly how much so. I loved that this article didn't just mention the disparity, but gave a list of people to keep an eye out who will help conquer those dreary statistics. I was a little bit shocked that I only knew three playwrights from the list in this article, but the point of the article was to expose new playwrights to us- so it definitely was effective in my case! Plays written by female playwrights is a topic that we often discuss in Foundation of Drama. Molly is a great advocate who encourages us and pushes us to read more work written by women. I think if more theatres put women as literary manager or new work coordinators, they could create more opportunity for female playwrights.

Sasha Schwartz said...

It’s very cool to read an article in which The Kilroys are mentioned, since we had Kelly Miller as a special guest in our Female Playwrights Special Topics class and it was amazing to hear her talk about how their group has done such incredible work to break down the gender barrier in theater in terms of playwriting. It’s also very cool to see a female playwright of color whose work we did last year in CMU Drama, Kirsten Greenidge (Milk Like Sugar), on the list. Lynn Nottage and Paula Vogel are two other names that I recognize from our Special Topics syllabus. It’s also great to read about these diverse female playwrights on the Arts Boston website, and I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to see many unique pieces of theater in Boston’s variety of theaters, including many that are mentioned such as Company One, which is known for producing unique works and was cake-bombed by the Kilroys for reaching parity in their productions. I think that the more we talk about the incredible work of female artists, the more upfront we are able to be about our own biases and the more steadily we are able to work towards an equal opportunity artistic workplace.