In this post, I’m looking at what some might call the Shakespeare factor. When I share the general data with folks, sometimes I hear ‘well, the reason that the playwright numbers are so skewed is because of classic plays – those are all by male writers. New plays are much closer to 50/50, right?’
So, I’ve broken the shows down into classic (which means anything written in 1960 or before) and contemporary (anything written since 1960).
You’ll recall from yesterday that shows 201-300 had a writer split of 68% male and 33% female. That there were 94 male writers, and 44 female writers, a total larger than 100 because of co-authoring situations, one acts by different authors presented on the same bill, and including all the different writers (book, lyrics, composer) who work on musicals.
Shows 201-300 break down into 21 classic shows and 79 contemporary shows.
The classic shows had 24 writers total, breaking down to 23 male writers and 1 female writer (Tides’ Theater’s production of The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman) – this is 96% male, 4% female.
The contemporary shows had 114 writers total, breaking down to 71 male writers and 43 female writers, or 62% male and 38% female.
Within the contemporary category, I also looked at new shows, or shows that had been written since the year 2000. I found 63 new shows within the contemporary group.
Those 63 new shows had a total of 91 writers, and broke down to 52 male writers, 39 female writers, or 57% male, 43% female.
More data analysis to come! The next few posts in this series will look at how the shows break down by type of Actors’ Equity contract they use.
Again, if you want to review past posts in this series, go here.