(EDGE) Continuing the fight to achieve gender parity in the American Theater, LA-based playwright/producer collective The Kilroys has facilitated its fourth annual List of industry-recommended new plays.
The List 2017 features the most recommended un- and under-produced plays written by female and trans writers of color, following a survey of hundreds of professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors, and dramaturgs. The List is organized by The Kilroys: an independent, LA-based group of female playwrights and producers, dedicated to taking action in the face of gender disparity in American Theatre.
In 2014, The Kilroys created The List survey in response to systemic gender bias in theater programming. The vetted collection of industry-recommended works was designed to bring worthy plays by female and trans playwrights to the forefront of the American theater conversation. And it has.
In the first three years of its existence, The List has featured 131 plays (46 plays on the List 2014; 53 plays on The List 2015; 32 plays on the List 2016), and over 1,000 plays have been nominated by hundreds of industry professionals. Since then, more than 100 productions of plays on The List have been mounted or announced.
Momentum for female theater makers is on the rise, despite continued under-representation of female and trans playwrights on American stages. According to The Count, an ongoing study funded by The Lilly Awards and The Dramatists Guild released in 2015, just 22 percent of productions in regional theaters over the previous three years were written by women.
However, only 3.4 percent of the overall plays produced reported by The Count were written by women of color. This year's List assembled by The Kilroys addresses this concern in the hopes for inclusive parity.
The Kilroys seek to focus attention on underrepresented voices as a powerful means of overcoming systemic and implicit biases that create exclusion. Through our and others' efforts, the results of attention on underrepresented voices has increased visibility and opportunity. Historically, female and trans writers of color face additional discrimination.
This year, in an effort to widen our scope and attention toward the underrepresented, and explore the intersectional facets that make up the dynamics of bias, The Kilroys have asked nominators to recommend plays by female and trans writers of color, resulting in The List 2017.
The List serves as a resource for producers and theaters committed to gender parity. The Kilroys have partnered with the New Play Exchange to provide interested parties fast and easy access to The List plays.
The List survey uses the following criteria this year:
Each industry respondent may recommend 3-5 plays, representing the best work they have encountered in the past 12 months.
A nominated play must be un-produced, or have had no more than one production.
A nominated play must be by an author of color who identifies as female or trans.
Plays on The List 2014, 2015 and 2016 are not eligible.
Theater professionals who have read or seen at least 40 plays in the previous year are invited to nominate themselves as respondents for next year's List. Recommendations are submitted anonymously. Members of The Kilroys act as facilitators and do not recommend plays for The List.
The List is currently available at www.thekilroys.org