Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy

Theatre Women’s Advocacy Groups

This is my most recent Bucks County Women’s Journal column about resources for women in the theatre.

You may download the article  here: BCWJ article on Theatre Women’s Advocacy Groups by Anne Hamilton.

Theatre Women’s Advocacy Organizations

By Anne Hamilton, M.F.A.

In the last few years, several new women’s advocacy organizations have joined those already established.

In New York, the perennial leaders include The League of Professional Theatre Women, and Women in the Arts and Media Coalition, Inc.

The League is an advocacy organization for reinforcing the positive image of, promoting the visibility of, and increasing the opportunities for women in the arts and entertainment industries, more particularly the professional theatre, thereby enriching the culture with the infusion of women’s creativity.

The purpose of the Coalition is to focus the power of its member organizations together and to use that combined strength to address issues of concern to women in theatre, film, TV, radio, and new media.

In recent years, they have been joined by many new groups. The Dramatists Guild Women’s Initiative advocates for female playwrights. And Works by Women supports theatrical work written, directed and/or designed by women.

WISE (Women in Stage Entertainment) was created by a group of like-minded women working in entertainment lighting who discovered they commonly faced issues that sometimes negatively impacted on their working lives. They felt the time had come to address these issues as a collective and to bring them to the attention of the wider industry.

17 Percent is an organization supporting and promoting female playwrights in the UK.

Why 17%? It’s a significant figure. It was quoted at Sphinx theatre’s 2009 ‘Vamps, Vixens and feminists’ conference as the percentage of UK women playwrights being produced and it’s also the pay gap between men and women.

While women make up 52% of the UK’s population, and 65% of the theatre audience, only 17% of UK produced plays are written by women. Something is badly skewed. The quoted figures are from 2010.

17% founder Sam Hall, says, “We will support and promote female playwrights through networking events, courses, feedback and dramaturgy, and championing women’s achievements in the theatre. We will also provide positive female role models and inspirations, showcases with opportunities for feedback, and mentoring opportunities.”

Services include an enewsletter, a blog, and video resources on YouTube.

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 hamiltonlit@ Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! will begin with an interview with Kate Valk, a leading actress with The Wooster Group.