CMU School of Drama

Monday, July 17, 2017

When Women Won’t Accept Theatrical Manspreading

The New York Times: There is an animated ad playing in the subway that drives me a little up the wall. It’s an anti-manspreading spot, in which a seated man with his legs wide open closes them, mostly, allowing a woman to sit beside him. So far, so good — until she daintily crosses her ankles to make herself as small as possible. Then she thanks the nice man for, as far as I can tell, no longer taking up way more than his fair share of room.

In theater as in life, there is a lot of manspreading: Men get more jobs, more money, more prizes, more stories told about them onstage than women do. The numbers are grim nearly everywhere, but especially on Broadway, where an Actors’ Equity study released last month showed female and minority actors and stage managers at a gross disadvantage to white men.

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