Question For Ya: Female Playwrights Edition
Do you think audiences really care about who wrote the play they are seeing, and what sex the writer is? If that answer is yes, why isn't that reflected in programming at more major institutions?
The 12% figure for NYC that Teresa Rebeck quotes seems ludicrious, yes. Even worse than the 20% figure that's often thrown out. But is that only counting Broadway? (Dan/Nick do you have stats on Chicago's upcoming season?)
But doesn't that tie into the over-commercialization of institutional theatres. Most Broadway producers only care about making money. It's commerce. That's what they do. As more and more non-profits chase the revenue tail they become more and more driven by the bottom line. If people keep showing up there's no reason to change, one could argue. If audiences don't seem to care how does one expect a commercial/institutional producer to care?
Not saying that's right, but that's how it is.
If audiences (majority of which are female) started caring with their wallets, than I'd bet you'd see a pretty quick change. If corporate sponsors, foundations and donors made that a priority that'd change really quick as well.
A lot of smaller and mid-sized companies do a far better job of producing a far wider spectrum of work. But that's not where the money goes.
As long as the money train keeps rolling in the same direction, is it foolish to expect different results?