Statistics Revealed: Gender Parity in Mainstage Sydney Theatre Company’s 2017 Seasons

A year after Women in Theatre and Screen (WITS) formed in response to Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s (DTC) record low percentages of female directors and playwrights in its 2016 programming, the theatre company has made a complete reversal with a female-led 2017 season.

This revelation comes following WITS’ publication of its independent analysis of mainstage Sydney Theatre Companies’ recently announced 2017 Seasons (see below).

In 2017, DTC (59% women), Belvoir (50%) and Griffin (50%) achieved gender parity in their programming of writers and directors. Sydney Theatre Company (34%) and Ensemble Theatre (16%) have male-dominant seasons, again. It should be noted that Griffin did not achieve gender parity in its independent season programming (40%).

DTC has seen a 42 per cent increase in the employment of female writers and directors, while Ensemble Theatre remains the lowest, with a further 14 per cent drop since last season.

“WITS is thrilled to see DTC make such a complete reversal in approach to gender parity. The company who sparked the fire for the most recent wave of women’s equality rallying in the industry because of their almost entirely absent female voices in 2016 has taken concerted and successful action to give voice to Australia’s talented female creatives,” WITS co-founder Maryann Wright said.

“Not only has DTC’s changed attitude manifested in their 2017 programming, but DTC also offered invaluable in-kind support to give a platform to Sydney’s best Independent female theatre-makers by housing WITS’ inaugural women’s theatre festival, Festival Fatale, in October this year. DTC has set an impressive example for the rest of the industry, and showed that with initiative, parity can happen almost instantly.”

WITS continues its mission to empower female creatives and encourage theatre companies and producers to introduce effective gender parity targets. WITS believes in equality for diversity of women, and in affirmative action in pursuit of gender parity.

To see affirmative action in action, join WITS for the inaugural Festival Fatale 29 and 30 October at the Eternity Playhouse consisting of two days of female-led theatre projects. Full festival line-up at www.festivalfatale.com.

2017-mainstage-theatre-stats-wits

Statistics compiled by WITS’ Michela Carattini and Maryann Wright

First Forum: Monday 26 October 2015, 7PM

A Conversation between women, for women.

VENUE: York Theatre, Seymour Centre, NSW. 

Featuring Guest Speakers:

GRACE BARNES
DIANA SIMMONDS
Dr. ELIZABETH MCMAHON Ph.D.

WITS coordinators from L Erica Lovell, Libby Munro, Clementine Mills, Lizzie Shebesta

Why are women still so underrepresented in stage and screen? Why are women underrepresented in creative roles? Why are we still reading disturbingly sexist casting briefs? Why are there so few women artistic directors?

As women in the arts, we have a responsibility to foster and fight for an industry that gives a voice to women, not only for the sake of our own careers, but for women as a whole who have a right to see their stories represented on stage and screen.

We invite you to an open discussion of our experiences as women in the entertainment industry, and a brainstorm of practical strategies to address these challenges and facilitate change.

Equity is not rocket science. Let’s make it happen.

PLEASE NOTE THIS INITIAL EVENT IS OPEN ONLY TO WOMEN.

Media coverage in the lead up to the event: 

Sydney Morning Herald

AussieTheatre.com

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND AND WISH TO HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Email ericahlovell@gmail.com your responses to the following questions:

Q1. What gender related issues have you observed as a consumer and maker of theatre and screen content?

Q2. How have these experiences impacted on you emotionally, psychologically, professionally, and financially?

Q3. What does your ideal future for women in the theatre and screen industries look like?

Organisers: Erica Lovell, Clementine Mills, Libby Munro, Lizzy Schebesta, Maryann Wright.

For more information, contact: ericahlovell@gmail.com.

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