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Women Playwrights Make Up Half of the Most Popular Plays for the 2013-14 Season

by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
September 26, 2013 10:35 AM
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From the San Francisco production of Katori Hall's Mountaintop
From the San Francisco production of Katori Hall's Mountaintop

American Theater magazine recently announced that David Ives' Venus in Fur has been chosen to be performed in the most theatres around the country during the upcoming 2013-14 season.  They also discovered that female playwrights make up half the list of plays being produced in the upcoming season across the country. This hasn't been the case since the 2005-06 season.

While this is great news, this DOES NOT MEAN that women playwrights get produced at the same rate as male playwrights.  It means that a bunch of plays written by women are resonating in a big way and that theatres around the country want to stage them.  Information from colleagues around the country made it clear that women still make up about 30% of the plays produced in NY last season.  

Some of the most produced female written plays for 2013-14 include:

Katori Hall's Mountaintop - 13 productions

Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles - 12 productions

Nina Raine's Tribes - 12 productions

Katie Mitchell's adaptation of Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat - 8 productions

Lisa D'Amour's Detroit - 7 productions

Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage - 7 productions

Quiara Alegria Hudes's Water by the Spoonful (which won the Pulitzer) - 7 productions

This information was found through surveys of over 500 member theaters of the Theater Communications Group. They are an organization of regional and nonprofit theaters as well as the publisher of the magazine.

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  • Greg | July 2, 2014 1:03 AMReply

    Glad to see Lisa D'Amour on that list. She's a total pro.

  • Roger C | September 28, 2013 1:56 AMReply

    That's Simone Missick and Adrian Roberts in the Theatreworks production. They did an amazing job!

  • Michael | September 25, 2013 5:04 PMReply

    Yes, women playwrights only make up 17-20% of the total plays produced in the US. Your headline is very far off--though I wish it were true. Women playwrights make up half of the list of most produced plays, this year, only. A great fact but the total story is not so positive, unfortunately.

  • TheLAFPI | September 24, 2013 7:41 PMReply

    Hello! Thanks for writing this, but the headline and text currently is somewhat misleading. Women playwrights did not write 1/2 the plays "being performed in the upcoming season across the country." Half of the list of "The Most Produced Plays of the 2013-14 Season" were by women, according to TCG. Check the NY Times article to see exact wording, please. Otherwise, there's a false impression here about U.S. theaters producing 50% women playwrights across the country, which is not factually true.

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