In this Defining Gender Parity Town Hall, we want to have a conversation about what gender parity looks like for our theater community. Where are we now, and what are our future goals? What does "success" look like, and how do we get there?
The Diversity/Inclusion/Gender Parity Task Force report talked about these three topics on stage (actors), back stage (playwrights, directors, designers, technicians, stage managers, crew), in the offices (administration, front of house), in the board rooms (and donor bases), and in the audiences. Gender parity is a conversation for all of these areas, though recent conversations have been around opportunities for playwrights and directors. We will not limit the conversation, though that context is helpful when we think about how to create the change we want (need) to see.
There are a number of recent conversations that help inform this meeting. They include Pat Gabridge's blog posts with an overview of some of the numbers around playwrights and directors on New England stages, and Ilana Brownstein's blog post "Rounding Up The Summit". These are both a great place to start. Feel free to email Julie Hennrikus (ed @ StageSource.org) with other suggestions, and we will add them to this page.
Here are some other articles/blogs/discussions:
From the 538 blog: The Dollar and Cents Case Against Hollywoods Exlusion of Women.
"The Confidence Gap", article from the Atlantic.
TCG's Gender Parity Salon
Here is more information on the day:
The goal of the day is to allow people to voice their concerns, have a real conversation, and come up with action steps on how to address the concerns. The Defining Gender Parity Town Hall has three parts:
Testimony: We are going to have an opportunity for 15 people to sign up and give 2 minutes of testimony about gender parity in our theater community. Why does it matter? What is at stake? How would you measure success? We will also give people an opportunity to send in their written testimony.
Conversation: Rather than an expert panel, we are going to facilitate a conversation in the room. We will ask for some reflections on the testimony given, and would love you to be part of the conversation.
Action Steps: What next? How are we going to start measuring what we are doing? Who is going to be part of the team that helps do that? Is there a different way of measurement that we should know about? This is a community event, a community issue, and the solutions will come from the community. Action steps here will help inform action steps in the areas of diversity and inclusion as well. None of these conversations are mutually exclusive. But given the national conversations going on about gender parity, let's have the conversation here in New England. And use our innovative spirit to create the change we want to see--need to see--in our theater community.
Please RSVP to the Town Hall here. We are grateful to the Boston Playwrights' Theatre for offering us space on Saturday, April 26 at 11am.