By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood May 3, 2011 at 2:09AM
There is some good news and some very bad news in today's Tony nominations.
The good news first.
• Two women are nominated for best direction of play: Anna D. Shapiro, The Motherf**ker with the Hat and Marianne Elliott and co-director Tom Morris, War Horse
• Two women are nominated for best direction of a musical: Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes and Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys (both these women were also nominated for best choreography)
• Eve Ensler is getting the Isabelle Stevenson Award
• Costumer designer Catherine Zuber scored two nominations - one for a play and one for a musical.
Now for the bad news.
Broadway has a major gender problem. Women buy the lion's share of tickets, yet there are no women nominated for best new play. Of course it's hard for a female writer to be nominated when there were NO plays by women in contention. There were 13 plays on the list and NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS WRITTEN BY A WOMAN. So totally unacceptable.
Here's a comment from Theresa Rebeck:
You could make that point that 100 % of the women who worked on Broadway this year got nominated. The question is why, out of the HUNDREDS of jobs for directors and playwrights and songwriters and bookwriters and lyricists, were there only 5 women working on Broadway? Seriously: the four women who directed and the ONE who had a writing credit were the only women writers/directors who worked on Broadway this season.
Read her reminder about the gender difficulties in the American theatre from Theresa Rebeck.
• One woman -- Cheri Steinkellner for Sister Act -- is nominated for best book of a musical.
• No woman is nominated for best score.
• No female written plays or musical are included in the best revival category.
Here are the other female nominees:
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand, Good People
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland, Brief Encounter
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (They had to cut down this category because not enough shows qualified)
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It's You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light, Lombardi
Joanna Lumley, La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Rae Smith, War Horse
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Donyale Werle, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Best Costume Design of a Play
Catherine Zuber, Born Yesterday
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Catherine Zuber, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, War Horse
Mimi Jordan Sherin, Jerusalem
Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo