Responding to Women in Theatre & Screen findings from last year, Darlinghurst Theatre Company and Belvoir are the only mainstage Sydney theatre companies to have at least 50% of their 2017 season helmed by female writers and directors.
DTC also has the distinction of a female majority, with four out of their six productions written by women, and a 50/50 divide of directors. This marks a 42% increase in gender parity from the 2016 season, a huge disparity that inspired the initial investigation by WITS.
“WITS is thrilled to see DTC make such a complete reversal in approach to gender parity. The company who sparked the fire for the most recent wave of women’s equality rallying in the industry because of their almost entirely absent female voices in 2016 has taken concerted and successful action to give voice to Australia’s talented female creatives,” said WITS co-founder Maryann Wright. “DTC has set an impressive example for the rest of the industry, and showed that with initiative, parity can happen almost instantly.”
Belvoir’s 50% split included one gender neutral playwright.
Griffin’s upcoming season will feature 44% women writers and directors, Sydney Theatre Company 34%, and Ensemble Theatre just 16%, a 14% drop from the previous season’s findings.
WITS was formed in response to 2016 season figures from DTC, which showed record low percentages of female playwrights and directors featured in the season. WITS aims to empower female creatives, and encourage companies and producers to address the gender imbalance across stage and screen.
DTC will be continuing their affirmative action by hosting WITS’ inaugural Festival Fatale, a two day event showcasing female-led theatre.
For more information on the festival, please see the website.
To find out more about WITS and their initiatives, check out their website.