Monday, June 24, 2013


Get out your buckets, feminists!  Another New York City Theatre announces 2013/2014 season of sexism.

Q: What theatre has this mission: “We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work”.

A: Primary Stages

Q: What theatre will produce 4 plays in their 2013/14 season – 3 by men, 1 “conceived” by a woman, and ALL directed by men?

A: Primary Stages

Primary Stages joins Lincoln Center Theatre and The Alley Theatre in Houston in announcing all male seasons (we do acknowledge that Primary Stages Production of “Bronx Bomber” has been conceived by Fran Kirmser).

On June 17 Casey Childs posted an entry on his facebook page saying that he thought that “shaming” artistic directors who refused to select plays by women and hire female directors amounted to “screaming into a bucket”.  He has since removed his post.

Letter writing is not screaming into a bucket.  It is a direct communication. The people who buy tickets to theatres have every right to express their distain at theatres that don’t support, produce, or hire women theatre artists.

So let’s “scream into a bucket” (aka fe-mail) Primary Stages and let them know what we think about their next sexist season.

Tell Casey Child, Andrew Leynse and Primary Stages that you will not purchase a ticket to any of their 2013/14 productions until they hire a female director and include another play written by a woman on their main stage.

Fe-mail Casey Childs:
Andrew Leynse:

Primary Stages
307 West 38th Street
Suite 1510
New York, NY 10018

Here are some of the kick ass letters sent to Andre Bishop and Lincoln Center Theatre last week.  Thanks to all who wrote.  Keep them coming! – 
Guerrilla Girls On Tour!

Dear Andre Bishop,
I'm writing because I just saw the schedule for the 2013-2014 theater, and I was both surprised and disappointed. Not a single one of the plays is written by a female playwright. In 2013, the gender disparities in theater are absolutely shameful. Decisions like those that led to next season's lineup contribute to the ongoing devaluing of work by female playwrights, and I can't bring myself to support them. As long as no play written by a woman is featured on your mainstage, I won't be purchasing tickets to any of your productions, and I'll be encouraging my friends and colleagues to do the same.

Jeremy Harper


Dear Mr. Bishop,
I am writing to express my disappointment that not a single play by a female playwright has been chosen for your main-stage season.  I am urging all of my friends to join me in the boycott of your theatre this season.

And please know that including women playwrights in your "development" small theatre season is not an acceptable response.

Susan McCully


Dear Mr. Bishop,
I should start by saying that I admire the work you do in and for the theatre community. However, I was incredibly off-put when I saw your season lineup for next year. As someone who worked so closely with Wendy Wasserstein, I'm surprised to see that you programmed a season of all-male playwrights. It's programming like this that pushes theatre back to the 1950s, so to speak, and though this sounds like a childish way of putting it, it's not okay. 

With so many young audience members and theatre practitioners pushing for more female voices in the theatre, it would behoove Lincoln Center to program a play by a woman on their main stages in the 2013-14 season. I know that many -- myself included -- are sick of this tradition and will refuse to purchase a ticket at Lincoln Center until this is done. I wish you the best in these coming weeks, as I anticipate you'll be receiving a flood of emails, phone calls, and letters on this subject. 


Danielle Mohlman
Artistic Director
Field Trip Theatre


Dear Mr. Bishop,
I attended the wonderful performance of “Ann” this past weekend and it was so refreshing to see a performance written by a woman at Lincoln Center.  However, after seeing your announcement for an ALL MALE SEASON, I was really disappointed.  Why is it so difficult for LCT to produce plays not only by women but people of color? It would be even nice to see an African American female director or designer on one of your stages for a change. (I am an African American theatre educator and USAA lighting designer).  So it's back to the classroom this semester for me sharing with my students the continual sexism in the American Theatre, even though women dominate in terms of audience members.  Guess, I won't be coming to Lincoln Center next season, even with Ann Shapiro directing.



Dear Andre,
It's extremely disappointing that an esteemed theatre production company as Lincoln Center does not choose to include the work of a woman playwright in next year's productions.  If you have read the news lately, you will know that men are denouncing the gender inequity in theatre, as well as women.
and Jonathan Franzen's response to "Sexism's Puzzling Stamina," "The world most glaringly dominated by male sexism is one that Mr. Bruni neglects to mention: New York City theater."

It's up to you to provide leadership in combating this insidious bias by promoting the plays of women in equal number to those  of men.

Yours truly,
Barbara Masry,
The Women's Initiative (members of the Dramatist Guild)
The League of Professional Theatre Women 


And on the ACTING front, regarding their production of MACBETH: here are the stats, from the casting call on Actors' Equity's website:

MACBETH, Lincoln Center Theater
Principal Auditions
The notice calls for 21 male actors, and 4 female actors.  (That's 84% male)

Specifically, the breakdown for the 3 witches is as follows:
"The Three Witches may all be played by men or possibly 2 men and 1 woman. Three very powerful, otherworldly and androgynous creatures ...."

So power and androgyny are clearly qualities they are expecting only male actors to be able to play!

(Thanks to Gael Schaefer for these stats!)