The fourth report in the League of Professional Theatre Women's Women Count series continues the group's mission to assess gender parity in the theatre industry, looking particularly at off-stage roles in Off-Broadway companies.
The new report, compiled by Martha Wade Steketee with Judith Binus, examines the hiring practices of 22 Off-Broadway theatre companies' five most recent seasons (2013–2014 through 2017–2018), totaling 515 unique productions.
The findings indicate that the most recent season of the years covered saw the highest representation of women in a variety of fields, with some having gender parity in sight.
In particular, 47 percent of the productions studied had women directors—a seven point uptick from the previous report. The season also saw the highest number of women playwrights represented, from last year's 36 percent of recorded productions to 41 percent.
Additionally, 13 of the 23 companies produced 50 percent or more women-directed stagings in their 2017–2018 season: ATC, EST, Flea, LCT, MCC, MTC, NYTW, Primary Stages, Rattlestick, Second Stage, Signature, SoHo Rep, and WP Theater. Of these companies, EST, MTC, NYTW, Primary Stages, Rattlestick, Signature, SoHo Rep, and WP Theater also highlighted female playwrights in 50 percent or more of their season.
Women continued to dominate certain technical fields, including stage management and costume design, while reaching gender parity for the first time in choreography and projection design.
The 2017–2018 season marked the first time every professional category explored in the study featured over 20 percent women, with sound design and lighting design seeing the lowest level of female representation (21 and 23 percent, respectively).