The League of Professional Theatre Women has spent 2018 advocating for gender parity at every level and in every discipline of the theatre industry. Through League initiatives, younger theatre women are finding the mentorships to succeed, mid-career and high profile members are working in concert to create collaborations, and new opportunities are being offered to members through member-run theatre companies.
The road to parity – in any industry – requires both advocacy and networking. And if we don’t build networks among theatre women, any advocacy effort will not be as successful as it can be.
We’ve continued to expand our advocacy work over the past year, releasing two Women Count reports, sharing the legacies of esteemed theatre women, and celebrating women’s artistic achievements in the field. We’re excited to share the exciting ways our membership and influence have grown. Below are just a few of our many highlights from the LPTW’s past season:
Beginning A Movement To Promote Diverse Hiring
On March 16th, we announced our new advocacy initiative #OneMoreConversation, a call to directors, artistic directors, producers, boards, and other decision-makers to have just one more conversation with a WOMAN theatre artist or professional before making a hiring decision. #OneMoreConversation was embraced by the theatre community, with SDC, Actor’s Equity Association, Alliance Theatre, and many more participating!
Publishing Critical Data on Women Working Off-Broadway
LPTW Members Martha Steketee and Judith Binus released not one, but TWO Women Count Reports this year, sharing vital statistics on hiring practices with the industry at large. And their hard work was noticed, with write-ups from American Theatre, The Interval, BroadwayWorld, and more. Click here to read the latest report, which was just released as of November 2018. Looking for editorial resources? The LPTW’s WIT Online journal publishes regular articles on everything from the #MeToo movement to one member’s experience putting up a show during a hurricane.
Celebrating the Accomplishments of Women in Theatre
What could be better than honoring women’s contributions to the industry? This year, we celebrated luminaries Phylicia Rashad, Linda Winer, Cricket S. Myers, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Rohina Malik, and Emily Joy Weiner at our Theatre Women Awards at The TimesCenter in Times Square. In addition, we continued our partnership with the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center to present three Oral History talks to the public with Obie Award-winner Lois Smith, Broadway Icon Chita Rivera, and Tony Award-winner Baayork Lee. Historical programs Suffragists from the Stage and On Her Shoulders were also supported this year, telling the important stories of our foremothers who lead the fight for women’s rights. We also honored our late members with dedications on our website, including this inspiring In Memoriam to prolific playwright María Irene Fornés.
Reaching Outside Our Circle To Spread Our Message Of Parity
The LPTW continues to reach beyond our circle to partner with outside organizations that share our mission. This year, we partnered with Actor’s Equity Association for our Women Stage the World presents Women Count March. Together, we took to the streets to share our message with Broadway audiences and hand out information on gender representation in theatre. The chants didn’t stop there; in April, we participated in Equal Pay Day at City Hall, to bring attention to the pay gap for women workers. If you’re a member, we hope you’re enjoying our new Theatre Connections program, where members meet with the leadership teams of local theatres. This year alone, we partnered with The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, and Manhattan Theatre Club for this landmark program. And did we mention it was an election year? We also worked with PowHer NY’s bipartisan PowHer the Vote Campaign to encourage female voters to make their voices heard. Our Co-Presidents, Kelli Lynn Harrison and Catherine Porter, even penned this blog post, Lifting All Boats, about the steps we can take to reach #5050by2020.
We are so grateful to all of our members and supporters for making 2018’s advocacy work possible. To continue supporting our mission, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.