Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy

ICWP’s 50/50 Applause Award
The 2012 International Centre for Women Playwrights 50/50 Applause Award:
ICWP gives a standing ovation to theatres that value women’s writing!

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) announces its inaugural 50/50 Applause Awards to five US theatre companies for seasons of plays with half or more written by women. In support of women in theatre, ICWP rewards and recognises those theatre companies who see gender parity as more than a desired goal.

ICWP started in 1988 with a mission is to support women playwrights worldwide and bring attention to their work. The creation of the 50/50 Applause Award coincides with the organisation’s 25th birthday celebration. President of ICWP, Dr Jennifer Munday, has stated that “these companies need special thanks for the integrity of their decision-making.”

In recent years, discussions within the global theatre community and the media have prompted both academic research and discussions to explain why the work of women playwrights is underrepresented in staged theatrical productions. In 2009, Emily Glassberg Sands released a study called “Opening the Curtain on Playwright Gender” which showed that only 18% of the productions done in the United States in 2008 were by female playwrights. She also found that “only 11% of shows on Broadway over the past decade [1999-2009] were written exclusively by women”.

Other research from countries with developed economies has demonstrated similar imbalances. Last year, Lyn Gardner of the UK’s The Guardian stated “…of the 57 productions in the West End and the fringe that might be considered plays (rather than musicals or physical work), only six are written by women”. In Canada, Rebecca Burton and Reina Green reported that 30-35% of the nation’s artistic directors were female in 2006.

Aside from the imbalance of theatrical expressions of women’s experience, there is a clear economic trajectory that starts with a production. A professional production is typically followed by script publication, book sales, further productions, royalty revenue for the playwright and other financial rewards like commissions, residences and travel opportunities.

To that end, ICWP’s qualifications for the 50/50 Applause Award were that theater companies produced women playwrights in both 50% of productions and 50% of total performances in their 2011-2012 season. Theaters that included producing women playwrights in their mission were not eligible. Five theatre companies have been recognised with the 50/50 Applause award, through a strict nomination process.

The winners are: Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland, OH; Little Colonel Theatre, Pee Wee Vally, KY; Nora Theater, Cambridge, M A; Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY; and, Symmetry Theatre, Berkeley, CA. The companies will receive their award in January 2013.

BCWJ Article on Indie Theater Now

In New York City, Martin Denton is a tireless theatregoer, writer, publisher, advocate and critic. His contribution to the profession with the website is immeasurable. His new venture, Indie Theater Now, is a wonderful opportunity for playwrights and other theatre artists.  Recently, Martin wrote an article for my ScriptForward! E-newsletter entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Indie Theater Now”. I’ve shared an excerpt below.

Indie Theater Now (ITN) is an online service that presents and preserves new American plays in script form. Our vision is to be both comprehensive and inclusive. ITN is kind of like a traditional review/preview site, but on steroids: Instead of simply just writing ABOUT a play that excites us, we share the full text of that play, along with dynamic, continually updated content that provides background and context—e.g., podcasts, interviews, reviews, videos, photos, etc.—created by the playwrights themselves as well as other artists and ITN staff. In this way readers can discover the work more fully, wherever they are, at their convenience. It’s also kind of like traditional play publishing, but on a massively larger scale (i.e., hundreds of new plays published per year rather than a few dozen) and at comparative warp-speed: the “Now” in Indie Theater Now reflects our ability to publish work days, not months or years, after its initial presentation on stage.

I started 16 years ago in order to share my excitement about drama in general and many amazing but underrated/unappreciated/unknown new plays in particular. Playwright Kirk Bromley once said that was “an engine of enthusiasm for the art”—a phrasing I particularly like.

I think of Indie Theater Now as a much more robust engine – not just of enthusiasm but of genuine discovery; one that enables teachers, students, actors, directors, producers, and artists of every stripe, as well as those not involved in the theater, to experience the fruits of indie drama as close to first-hand as possible.”

Please read the entire article on my Hamilton Dramaturgy blog, which is

BCWJ Article on Indie Theater Now by Anne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton has more than twenty years of experience in the professional theatre in NYC, across the nation, and internationally. She is available for script consultations and career advising through Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgys TheatreNow! launched with an interview with Kate Valk, a leading actress with The Wooster Group.

Salman Rushdie’s Film Adaptation of MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN
January 8, 2013, 1:53 pm
Filed under: Dramaturgy | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve discovered a terrific website offering financial, and career advising resources for artists working in the U.K. It’s called Ideas Tap and is available at

There is a terrific article on Salman’s Rushdie’s process during writing a screenplay adaptation of MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN. Please read the article at

Excerpt from the article by Tom Seymour:

Q: What were the challenges of adapting your own novel?

A: I had to start again with the story, from fresh. And we started with images. Director Deepa Mehta and I wrote down key images that occur through the story and promised ourselves we would weave those images into the screenplay.

Q: Midnight’s Children is a multilayered epic. How did you decide which stories to prioritise and which to jettison?

A: We had to work out whose story we were telling. Obviously we couldn’t tell everyone’s story, because there’s a cast of thousands in the novel. I wrote the novel, so I had the freedom to do anything I want with it, and I wrote it long ago, so the distance I had from it allowed me to do that.