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The Guthrie Theatre Announces Its 50th Anniversary Season With No Female Playwrights on the Program

Women and Hollywood By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood April 30, 2012 at 10:11AM

The Guthrie Theatre is one of the most prestigious regional theatres in America.  Next year it will be celebrating it's 50th anniversary season.  Joe Dowling, the 7th Artistic director of the theatre (which by the way has never had a female artistic director) recently announced the program for this very important upcoming season and there is not a SINGLE female playwright on the list for the main stages.  (I also just consulted Wikipedia and the Guthrie also had no female playwrights in the 2011-2012 season.)  And not only are there no women, there are also no plays by any people of color.  So their whole celebratory season marking this seminal anniversary will be populated completely by white men.
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Guthrie

The Guthrie Theatre is one of the most prestigious regional theatres in America.  Next year it will be celebrating it's 50th anniversary season.  Joe Dowling, the 7th Artistic director of the theatre (which by the way has never had a female artistic director) recently announced the program for this very important upcoming season and there is not a SINGLE female playwright on the list for the main stages.  (I also just consulted Wikipedia and the Guthrie also had no female playwrights in the 2011-2012 season.)  And not only are there no women, there are also no plays by any people of color.  So their whole celebratory season marking this seminal anniversary will be populated completely by white men.

Here's what reporter for Minneapolis Public Radio Marianne Combs reports about the season:

Of the 12 productions slated for the Guthrie's two large stages, the Wurtele thrust and the McGuire proscenium, not one of them was written by a woman. And only one of them ("Nice Fish") is being co-directed by a woman (along with Mark Rylance).

In addition, the men involved in writing and staging these plays are all white - the most diverse among them is Carlo Goldoni, an Italian playwright from the 1700s.

This situation is uncceptable and the good thing is that people know it.  People are talking.  People are challenging.  Artistic Director Joe Dowling is being held accountable.  He was utterly condescending when asked about the lack of diversity responding: "This is a self-serving argument that doesn't hold water."  He also said: "But one thing I want to be very clear about, tokenism is the worst thing you can do...I employ people because of their talent, male or female. It is a very stern task to direct on a stage of our size, and I am responsible to the board for the shows we produce.” to the Star Tribune

This article is related to: theatre, Sexism, Women Writers