Behind the Curtain

Official Blog of International City Theatre

Women’s Voices in Theatre – Can You Hear Them?

March 10th, 2011

A recent study from the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Intiative in collaboration with LA Stage Alliance revealed that only one in five plays in Los Angeles theatres is written by a woman. With a 20% average, this percentage is better than the national average of 17% but neither are numbers that would make anyone feel proud.

Such statistics are shocking, especially when you consider the most important factor – the audience. Attend any theatrical production, be it a comedic play, a drama or a musical, and it is safe to say that the audience is comprised of predominantly women. According to audience reports conducted by the Broadway League Report in 2009/2010, 69% of ticket buyers are women. While this report reflects only Broadway productions studied, there is no reason to think that such numbers are fairly accurate representations of what is happening across the country.

Kathleen Clark - Writer of ICT's upcoming play Southern Comforts Photo Courtesy of Broadwayworld


We here at International City Theatre have always believed in producing new works by new voices and really representing our community with the types of plays we choose to produce. This holds true for producing the work of women playwrights as well. Last year, three of our five plays were written or co-written by women – Backwards in High Heels by Lynnette Barkley, A Shayna Maidel by Barbara Lebow and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. This season, two of our productions were written or co-written by women. Loving Repeating, which just closed on February 13, had its lyrics written by Gertrude Stein. Our upcoming production of Southern Comforts is written by Kathleen Clark and runs from March 15 – April 10.

We are very proud to be going against the norm by producing plays written by women. Every voice deserves to be heard, and we are happy to have the ability to make that happen.

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