‘Women on Broadway’ Study Reveals Low Numbers for Female Directors and Writers

mamma-mia

Though statistics show that over two-thirds of people in Broadway audiences are female and plenty of famous actresses continue to grace Broadway stages, backstage the numbers are quite different.

According to The Wrap, only 14 percent of the productions on Broadway during the 2012-2013 season were directed by women. Perhaps even more eye-opening is that of the 28 plays that opened during the same season only three were written by women and only one musical — Kinky Boots — had a score written by a woman. That woman happens to be quite famous herself, pop star Cyndi Lauper, suggesting that female newcomers have an even more difficult road to becoming Broadway composers. The Wrap compiled its statistics through research on the Internet Broadway Database.

One organization hoping to turn the tide is Works by Women, founded by theater director Ludovica Villar-Hauser. She says, “Our goal is 50/50 by 2020 – the hundred year anniversary of American suffrage.”

One of the issues that the organization will have to hurdle is that most plays and musicals that are repeatedly revived or enjoy lengthy runs on Broadway are written by men — William Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and so on. Obviously there are some exceptions — The Lion King was directed by Julie Taymor and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, the often-revived A Raisin in the Sun was written by Lorraine Hansberry, and the music for Once was co-written by Markéta Irglová, just to name two examples off the top of my head — but when it comes to most perennial favorites the writes are mainly men.

Turning that tide might be difficult, but something that the primarily female Broadway audience would likely support enthusiastically.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bill-hader.jpg
Bill Hader: “I kind of fell into acting” (video)
Bill Hader, starring in the soon to be released The Skeleton Twins, talks about the film and how he fell into acting and then got “crazy lucky” in this quick video from USA Today. Share on Tumblr
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/director-john-carney-narrates-a.jpg
Director John Carney Narrates a Scene from ‘Begin Again’ Starring Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo
Director John Carney (Once) narrates a scene from his new film, Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, the scene shows the first time the two characters meet. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s great.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/holler-if-you-hear-me-gma.jpg
Watch the Cast of Broadway’s ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ Perform ‘California Love’ on GMA
The cast of Broadway’s newest musical, Holler If You Hear Me with music from Tupac Shakur, performed on Good Morning America this morning. Singing ‘California Love’, the cast (including the teriffic Christopher Jackson – read our interview here), show why they’re the most energetic and inspiring group of actors on Broadway. Holler If Ya Hear [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-dawn-of-the.jpg
Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Performance Capture Actor Terry Notary
Actor Terry Notary is 1 of 5 actors playing the apes in the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “When you see armies of apes,” he says, that’s “five of us.” Check out the video where you can watch his performance capture work.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/melissa-mccarthy-daily-show.jpg
Melissa McCarthy and John Stewart Talk About Terrible Commercial Auditions on ‘The Daily Show’
Melissa McCarthy stopped by The Daily Show last week to plug about her new movie, Tammy. She talked about how she loved working with her husband, Ben Falcone (director of Tammy) and then segued into talking about some horrible working situations. The always hilarious McCarthy then started to tell host John Stewart about a particular [...]