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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.

So now women and people of color are tokens.  Nice.  With comments like this it is no wonder that American theatre is not diverse.  And I also want to give a big shout out to the board members who think that staging plays by white men is the only way to pay the bills. People - who the fuck do you think buys the tickets?  How many of the old white men in your theatre would be going if their wife, partner, friends etc had not bought the tickets because the statistics show that women buy 70% of the tickets. 

The question for me is why do theatre and other artistic institutions still continue to believe that the work of women -- whether that work is about women or just by women -- is something that is not equal to the work of men.  This is a fundamental question about the future of the arts and culture of our WORLD. 

The Guthrie diversity issue is just one example of many of the continued marginalization of women's voices.  It goes back to whose stories counts, whose stories are valid, whose stories are worthy.  This also must remind us that while many institutions across the culture portend to have diverse missions, that diversity is clearly limited, and it is up to us the public who buy tickets to say that we demand more diversity in our theatre across America. 

Read this piece about the situtation: Guthrie Theater's debt to women and diversity by Marianne Combs

Where's the diversity in the Guthrie's new season? (MPR)

The Guthrie’s Women/Race/Facebook Problem (MN/ST Paul Mag)

120 Seconds (2AMt)

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

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