The International Centre for Women Playwrights campaigns for gender equity for female dramatists across the world will present their seventh Annual Awards to theatres which have produced works by female writers at least 50% of their season from 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018. Set against a background of the recent scandals of abuse towards women in the arts and media, the Awards committee sees the low employment rates of female playwrights as an economic abuse that needs to be highlighted continually, until parity is achieved.
In the last decade, research by the media and academics from the USA, Canada, UK and Australia, have uncovered the disturbing imbalance in favour of male playwrights in the subsidized theatre sector. In France, research shows that in the five National theatres the percentage of female-authored plays ranges from 19% – 30% for the years 2013-2017. The French Department of Culture has issued guidelines for producing companies to follow. Professional theatres across the world, like the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, have committed to take action to achieve gender equity in their programming. The ICWP 50/50 Applause Award will demonstrate how far they and other theatres have progressed. For the seventh annual 50/50 Applause Awards, where a theatre company operates several venues, only Main Stage productions will be taken into consideration. Research has shown that male-authored plays still dominate in Main Stages. College and University productions are also eligible to be nominated, as those are where future theatre professionals are trained, and their “ ethos” is important in the quest for equality.
Co-chair of the 50/50 Applause Awards committee, Patricia L. Morin, said, “We want to applaud professional theatres showing works by women at least half the time on Main Stages with their larger budgets, seating capacity and media attention. Our greater focus on the performance output of Colleges, Universities, and Theatre Education institutions, will reveal how the training of future theatre professionals is or is not reinforcing the current gender inequalities.”
Information on Theatres is gathered by a dedicated team of international volunteer researchers. Anyone, including theatre staff and members of the public can nominate a theatre they think qualifies under the 2017-2018 guidelines.
The 50/50 Applause Awards are this year being championed by multi-award-winning playwright Lauren Gunderson who was announced as the most produced playwright in the USA in the 2017-2018 season by American Theatre Magazine and is a member of ICWP.
This year’s nomination form will go live on February 15th.
The guidelines are available at http://www.womenplaywrights.
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Please share this information with your theatre friends around the world! Recipients of the 2017/18 award will be announced May 30th, 2018.
Established in 1989, The International Centre for Women Playwrights promotes and supports women playwrights. We aim to help achieve a fair representation of the female imagination on the world’s stages. ICWP provides a place for peer support, knowledge-sharing, and play publication. It is our goal to see more gender equity in professional theatres and for women playwrights to sustain careers as dramatists.