Playwrights Guild of Canada, in partnership with some of the arts industry’s most vital organizations, is proud to announce the launch of Equity in Theatre (EIT). Thanks to funding from Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Ontario Arts Council, EIT will roll-out a campaign to help redress gender inequities in the theatre sector.
Led by Rebecca Burton, PGC’s Membership and Contracts Manager, and Laine Zisman Newman, Dramaturgical Associate with Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, EIT involves different components: a preparatory research study, a Symposium held in Toronto in April 2015, a website dedicated to Canadian women in theatre, live curated performance events, including play readings, and more.
EIT’s Steering Committee and stellar cast of partners includes Artists Driving Holistic Organizational Change, Associated Designers of Canada, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (Canada), Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. Also joining the team is Jennie Egerdie, who successfully garnered a Metcalf Foundation Performing Arts Internship to work alongside Rebecca Burton on the EIT project.
With this initiative, the EIT team hopes to foster dialogue on an (inter)national scale, develop social actions that will help effect change, and generate greater awareness of and exposure to Canadian women in theatre, all the while drawing attention to the systemic discrimination that permeates the industry still.
Although women form the vast majority of theatre school graduates, support workers, and audience members, when it comes to key creative roles in the sector, their numbers diminish substantially, dropping below 35 per cent. For example, women form 50 per cent of PGC’s membership, but they do not account for even one quarter of the nation’s produced playwrights (the numbers for women of colour are lower yet), and rates of representation are regressing rather than improving over time. These imbalances have a negative trickledown effect on the industry, making an impact on the variety of work, employment opportunities (for women actors, designers, and directors), and audience experience.
You can also attend the Toronto Launch of EIT on Saturday, September 27, 2014 during Culture Days. Stay tuned for more info about launch events in Vancouver (hosted by Playwrights Theatre Centre on October 6th, 2014) and Halifax (hosted by Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre in November 2014).
Website coming soon to www.eit.playwrightsguild.ca