Friday, March 09, 2007

Rampant Sexism in Theatre, part II, the unscientific survey

See my previous post for the official studies. Now remember when I told you to count? Last night, I counted. Just this week, just my particular city. Then I vomited.

Not having internet access at home, I used my copy of Time Out Chicago. Now, I could spend a lot of time reviewing my methodology (anything with a writing credit counts, cowritten plays of mixed gender get one mark in each column, cowritten plays of a single gender get a single mark, Shakespeare is not counted under any circumstances, etc. etc.) But it'd be almost pointless. The results are so horribly tilted that even if I'd been extremely prejudicial in counting women's plays as opposed to men's, I couldn't have made it past 30%.

This is what I got:
Plays written by men: 60
Plays written by women: 22
Plays written by people of indeterminate gender: 9

26%! That's counting both Late Nite Catechism shows, 365 days/365 plays, and the writing credit on a burlesque show. If you assume that all persons whose gender could not be determined are female (and why would you assume that?) you can pump it up to 34%.

But of course, there's Shaw and Wilde in there gumming up the works. Let's count only plays that are a. Chicago premieres and b. written in the last decade. That is, new works.

Plays written by men: 39
Plays written by women: 12
Plays written by people of indeterminate gender: 9

23%. Ouch.

There was a lot less info about directors, but here's what I got.
Men: 50
Women: 15
Not mentioned: 30

Who wants to bet that the real numbers are in that same range?

Because I'm a masochist, I might do this every week. I might even go to the internet cafe to get a more accurate count.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Reina,

Name's Eric, I'm an ensemble member at the Factory Theater out on Elston.

We do original work and right now we're running "Janice Dutts Goes To Life Camp" written by Laura McKenzie.

I'd love to invite you and your readers to it, it's very fun and funny.

Thanks for your time.

You can find me at myspace.com/roachy10

www.thefactorytheater.com

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