Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quick hit: Thesis research on female playwrights

I should be preparing for a midterm for my summer class, so I'm going to keep this short, but I wanted to direct everyone's attention to an article that came out in the NYT yesterday, highlighting the research of Emily Glassberg Sands, who graduated from Princeton earlier this month. Ms. Sands, who majored in economics, conducted a study (I'm assuming for her thesis) investigating whether discrimination plays a role in the small numbers of female playwrights who are produced within the theater community. The surprising part of the research? It's actually female artistic directors and literary managers who are to blame - they're the ones who seem to be discriminating against female playwrights. There's also a lack of good scripts by female writers - although Sands did admit that women who write scripts for Broadway are held to a higher standard, even though their plays tend to run for the same time as less profitable shows written by men, and that plays featuring female leads (which are most often written by women) were also less likely to be produced.

This is a very short summary, and I encourage you to read the article yourself. Ms. Sands comes to some very interesting conclusions, and asks some difficult questions. Like most issues, the lack of female-written plays is much more complex than artistic directors and producers would have you believe - but it's also a question that can't be answered by a single charge of discrimination. Now someone just has to write a thesis on why female playwrights don't produce as many scripts as their male counterparts, and we'll have the full story. Any anthropology or sociology majors want to take that on?

2 Comments:

At June 24, 2009 at 8:18 PM , Blogger --eg said...

I spent a year and a half in a theatre program at a womens college, and the curellest comments about actors talents and abilities didn't come from the male apprentices, but from my female classmates. Very sad and depressing.

 
At June 25, 2009 at 11:23 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

Surely the ultimate blame lies not with women, but with the Patriarchy. It is absurd to suggest that women can possibly be to blame.

 

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