Women Hired Off-Broadway 2010-2017
Martha Wade Steketee
Third in a report series published by
League of Professional Theatre Women
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: WOMEN COUNT 2010-2017
Whose plays are being done, who is directing them, and how many women are being hired for theatrical off-stage roles in New York’s theatres beyond Broadway? The Women Count report series has been collecting and publishing analyses of production credits since 2014 to assess these questions of gender parity in theater hiring decisions. The goal of the report series is to change the conversation from anecdotes to action plans to support advocacy efforts on behalf of women playwrights, performers, and off-stage theatre workers.
The 2014 Women Count and 2015 Women Count reports covered 22 theatre companies. This third Women Count report covers seven seasons (2010-2011 through 2016-2017), 23 producing companies, and nearly 700 productions. Each report, authored by Martha Wade Steketee with Judith Binus, includes tables with theatre-by-theatre details, and gender hiring breakdowns to illustrate who is being hired in a wide range of theatrical roles.
Findings from the new 7-year report period reveal a few areas in which women dominate, and many areas where men dominate employment in theatre.
- Productions Off-Broadway across the study seasons 2010-2011 through 2016-2017 continue to be dominated by “new” plays (play with world premieres within five years of the study production). Individual seasons range
from 58% to 82% “new” plays.
- Women playwrights represented in the study theatres range from season lows of 29% in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 to a season high of 37% in 2016-2017.
- Women directors range from a season high of 40% women in 2014-2015 to a season low of 24% women in 2011-2012.
- Set designers are generally less than one third women, ranging from a low of 21% in 2015-2016 to a high of 35% in 2012-2013.
- Lighting designers are overwhelmingly men, with a low of 8% women in 2012-2013 and a high of 21% women 2016-2017.
- Costume designers are primarily women, with a season low of 64% women in 2010-2011 and a season high of 79% women in 2012-2013.
- Sound designer credits are one-fifth for women across the seasons, with wide variation among producing companies. Season rates range from a low of 16% women in 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 and a high of 21% women in 2011-2012.
- Production stage managers, stage managers, and assistant stage managers are 70% women, more or less, in each study year, reflecting national trends.
Women Count 2010-2017 has been written and analyzed using data assembled from production playbills (the source given highest weight), season announcements, theatre web sites, published production reviews, on-line databases, and professional networks.