Not Even: Choices You Can Make

For Theatres

  • Gender Parity as a Multi-Year Goal – If it seems too hard to move to 50% women playwrights and directors in one season, set it as a multi-year goal. If you have a 6 play season, and you include one more play written or directed by a women every year, you could achieve gender parity in three years.
  • Equal Pay Rates & Equity Contracts – make sure you are paying women at the same rates as men, and set a goal of giving 50% of your Actors’ Equity contracts to women.
  • Women on the Crew – set a goal of hiring women for 50% of your designer, stage manager, technical, and other crew jobs.
  • Physical Safety – if your theatre is in a challenging neighborhood, take steps to help women actors and other staff get to and from work safely.
  • Sexual Harassment – establish policies and procedures for addressing claims of sexual harassment on the job.
  • Childcare – consider offering childcare during rehearsals or performances.

For Playwrights

  • More Roles for Women – write more roles for women, especially women of color and women over forty. Challenge the status quo by not assuming any particular character must be male or female.
  • More Female Protagonists – create plays in which female characters demonstrate agency and the full range of human strengths and weaknesses.
  • Dialogue about the World – make sure women characters talk to each other about something other than men. In real life women discuss many other topics.

For Directors

  • Cross-Gender Casting – cast women in any/every role possible, particularly in Shakespeare and classic plays where male characters dominate.
  • Partner with Female Playwrights – help women playwrights get produced by pitching their plays to theatres. Women’s plays also tend to employ more women actors.

For Actors

  • Audition Pieces by Women – use excerpts from plays by women when you audition.
  • Ask to Audition – If you think you are suited to play a role that only men are being auditioned for, make a pitch to the director/producer to consider auditioning you as well.

For Everyone

  • Buy Tickets to Shows Written or Directed by Women!
  • Donate to theatres that Support Women Artists!
  • Help Promote Women Artists – Studies show that women are reluctant self-promoters, and are often seen less favorably by leaders/decision-makers when they do self-promote. Help to raise the profile of women theatre artists by drawing attention to strong work via social media, via fan letters to artistic leaders, via face to face conversation.

Download a one-page .pdf file of the “Choices You Can Make”.