Gender bias in theater?

Princeton Numbers Cruncher Confirms Bias in Theater Philip Boroff – June 24, 2009 – Bloomberg.com

Sands sent scenes from four unpublished plays to artistic directors around the country, and asked them to rate the dramas on audience appeal, economic prospects and other qualities.

Each was written by an accomplished female playwright, including [Lynn] Nottage, who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “Ruined.” Sands assigned pen names to each play, equally divided between male and female pseudonyms.

Staff members from 82 theaters responded. The male artistic directors assigned nearly identical ratings regardless of the gender of the pen name….The female artistic directors and literary managers assigned “markedly lower ratings to a script” with a female pen name….

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Are female artistic directors really holding back female playwrights? June 26, 2009 – Charles McNulty – Los Angeles Times

I don’t know any theater professional who believes it’s the prejudice of powerful women in institutional theaters that is holding women playwrights back. Suspicion of cattiness is always attention grabbing, but it’s a red herring that distracts us from an issue that may have more to do with a narrowness of sensibility (what constitutes a stage-worthy play) than the sex organs of the writer.

-Tanya

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