Poet, Fiction Writer, Playwright, Editor and Translator Lyn Coffin has written this poem, inspired by the Counting Actors project, and has generously allowed me to share it here!
Playwright Gender Math:
a poem drowning in numbers
2012’s first hundred shows in San Francisco bay
let’s look at the statistics- consider what they say:
18 of these 100 shows were “classics, ” so we’re told–
written before 1960– meaning really old;
contemporary shows we know then numbered 82
66 were written in this century, so “new.”
some shows had several writers: 95 wrote 82,
78 wrote 66- am I confusing you?
50 new show writers classified as being male
28 were women – This is playwright gender “fail.”
of all contemporary playwrights, men were 66,
29 were women– It’s a problem we should fix.
women playwrights, you are needed,
far too long, you’ve gone unheeded
reach and teach and touch and free us
make a history to see us
from your wisdom, fashion plays
to inform, delight, amaze
women writers for the stage,
sing your love, your sex, your age
Be undaunted in your seeing,
breathe your mystery into being
in your work the wise rejoice
raise in strength your woman’s voice
Lyn will be reading her poem at a Seattle SWAN day event featuring readings of new plays by Puget Sound area female playwrights. If you’re in that area, here are event details.
She’s let me know that this version of the poem is a draft, and welcomes reactions, critique, suggestions. Leave those below!