So You Want a Revolution? 10 Things to Know About Theatre's New Activists, The Kilroys

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31 Aug 2014

Sarah Gubbins

Daria Polatin, Zakiyyah Alexander and Sarah Gubbins, members of the advocacy group The Kilroys, talk with about the motivations behind The List and their plans for the future.


"You all love these plays — why ain't you doin' them?" Sarah Gubbins asked rhetorically. The question, which was voiced during a discussion of the recently formed advocacy group The Kilroys, devoted to promoting female playwrights, inspired laughter but also contained a more serious undertone. 

The Kilroys, which consists of playwrights and producers and was formed in 2013, asked 127 playwrights, dramaturgs and artistic directors to recommend plays written by women that were among the best they had seen or read over the previous year but had one or no productions. Of the more than 300 plays that were recommended, 46 were selected. Martha Lavey, artistic director of Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, and Adam Greenfield, director of new play development at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway, were among the participants.

In June, in a response to the lack of plays by women being produced both on and Off-Broadway, and in an effort to encourage more productions of works by female playwrights, The Kilroys publicly released this list of 46 plays written by women and recommended for production.

Among the recommended plays were works by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, Tanya Barfield, Halley Feiffer, Janine Nabers and Anna Ziegler.

The lack of plays written by women has been a topic of discussion both on and Off-Broadway. The recently concluded 2013-14 Broadway season did not include any new plays written by women. Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy was the last new play by a woman seen on Broadway. It opened April 1, 2013.

Read's recommendations of works by women to see in New York this fall

Click through to learn from Daria Polatin (In Tandem, Guidance), Zakiyyah Alexander (10 Things To Do Before I Die, After The Show: A Play In Mask) and Sarah Gubbins (fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life, I am Bradley Manning) how the Kilroys began and the change they hope to accomplish.


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