The Count.

The Lily Awards just released The Count, and it’s grim statistics re: gender parity in the theater. The hard nuts: America is 50.8% women, 49.2% men. In 2013, Bachelor Degrees were given to 62% women, 38% men. And yet, across 153 theaters and 2508 productions: only 22% percent of plays are written by women. Similarly, America is 62.2% white, and 37.8%, and yet only 12% of productions were by writers of color. This means that the theater in this country is not reflecting its people. What are we to do with this data? I mean, really? I don’t think any playwright wants their play produced JUST because they are a woman or a racial minority or both. Nobody wants the theater to become a ‘victim of political correctness,’ as Jonathan Reynolds pointed out in his response to the Count. But isn’t there an in-between? Somewhere somehow? Enter Steven Dietz, a white male playwright who has decided to ask his agents to let him know when his play is being performed as part of an all white male season, and he will ‘ask them to consider moving my play to another year, or possibly not doing it at all, so that a playwright of under-represented constituency can be produced in its place.’ BRAVA, DIETZ. It’s these brave, selfless little movements that make change.

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