Nominations Deadline for 2018 ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards for Theatre Gender Parity

by Michael Eddy
The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) sponsors the 50/50 Applause award
The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) sponsors the 50/50 Applause award

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) is sponsoring the seventh annual 50/50 Applause Award, celebrating theatres who achieved gender equity for playwrights in their 2017-2018 Season.

The nomination window for the 2017-2018 theatrical season is open; it closes on March 15, 2018. Recipients of the 2017/18 award will be announced in May 2018.

The balance of opportunity, employment, and career prospects for female dramatists has lagged well behind their male counterparts. The sheer amount of academic research and published reports is staggering. Landmark events include, in 1978, the Feminist Theatre Study Group picketed five shows on London’s West End, through 2009 with an article by Marsha Norman, a 2010 speech by Theresa Rebeck, and the 2016 outcry in Dublin, Ireland that gave birth to the movement #Wakingthefeminists.

There is an ever-brightening spotlight on theatre companies around the world who consistently produce the work of male playwrights at roughly double the rate of female playwrights. Activist groups and, in France, government committees, have urged theatre managements and artistic directors to implement gender equity policies when selecting works for their seasons. The exponential growth of independent female-only theatre companies is a symptom of the gender bias that has existed and still exists in the majority of large publicly funded theatres.

Awards Co-chair Patricia L. Morin said, “We ask theatres everywhere to examine their own production output and see how they stack up in terms of playwrights’ gender and that their local subscribers and patrons will do the same. They can find the criteria we are using for the 2017-2018 Applause Awards on our website and, if their local theatre qualifies, make a nomination.”

This year's nomination form will remain open until March 15, 2018 on the ICWP website.

  • Anyone may nominate eligible theatres.
  • The eligibility criteria have changed from previous years. Here are highlights of the new qualifying criteria:
  • Have at least three productions in their season
  • Have plays by both female and male dramatists in their season
  • At least 50% of the plays produced between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 are the work of female playwrights
  • At least 50% of the total number of performances during that window are the work of female playwrights
  • Only Main Stage productions will qualify where a company has several venues.
  • Theatres may not have the development of works by women as their main mission statement

The guidelines are available at French and Spanish versions available.

Nominations may come from artistic directors, theatre employees, and members of the public. Please feel free to share this information with your theatre friends and colleagues around the world.

Further information from the ICWP: