Women in the Arts & Media Coalition Organizes Summit on Women Playwrights

Shellen Lubin

Shellen Lubin, Co-President Women in the Arts & Media Coalition

Shellen Lubin, the indefatigable co-president of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition organized a half-day summit in New York on November 30 to discuss strategies to increase the number of productions of contemporary and historical plays by women. She planned the summit in collaboration with WomenArts, the Dramatists Guild, and the National Theatre Conference.

Lubin’s goal was to find ways to increase the impact of the many groups and initiatives that are now working to increase the number of productions of plays by women. For instance, The Kilroys publish an annual list of excellent contemporary unproduced plays by women, History Matters – Back to the Future promotes the study and production of historical plays by women, and groups like 365 Women A Year or The Future is Female Festival encourage women to write and produce plays on specific themes.  The National New Play Network has established the New Play Exchange, a database with 6,000 scripts by women that can be searched by genre, cast size, location, and more. Lubin wants to make it easier to find all of these excellent resources and to build alliances among the groups.

Many ideas were suggested during the lively 4-hour discussion at the summit.  Here are three of the action plans that emerged:

  • Create a central online listing of all of the resources.  The Women in the Arts & Media coalition has agreed to host a web page that will list all the groups, and Lubin is optimistic that they will be able to post it in February or March 2018.  If you are aware of initiatives or lists of plays by women that should be included in this central listing, please send links for the resources to WomenArts>>
  • Create an online database of plays by women of the past – The summit participants were inspired by the way that the New Play Exchangemakes it possible for women to upload their scripts and tag them with keywords so that they can be easily found. They want to set up a similar database for plays by women of the past.
  • Collaborate with the National Theatre Conference – The National Theatre Conference created a Women Playwrights Initiative in 2010 that was designed to encourage its 150 members to do more full productions of plays by women. Several of the summit attendees were members of the National Theatre Conference, and they agreed to create and share an annotated list of plays by women that NTC members have produced, and they will do one-on-one outreach to the National Theatre Conference members to persuade them to do more plays by women.

For More Information:  Please contact the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition>>