12 Off-Broadway Theatres Earn Seal of Approval from LPTW

by Jacob Coakley
The Seal of Approval from the League of Professional Theatre Women recognizes theatres’ commitment to gender parity.
The Seal of Approval from the League of Professional Theatre Women recognizes theatres’ commitment to gender parity.

The League of Professional Theatre Women awarded 12 Off-Broadway theatres with their new “Seal of Approval.” LPTW’s Seal of Approval “honors leaders in the theatre community who have demonstrated commitment to gender parity in their hiring practices.” There are two types of seals: Gold and Silver. The LPTW Gold Seal is awarded to theatres in which 50% of playwrights or 50% of directors (or both) hired in the last 5 seasons were women. The LPTW Silver Seal is awarded to theatres in which 50% of playwrights or 50% of directors (or both) hired in the most recent season were women.

THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN AWARDS 12 NEW YORK CITY OFF-BROADWAY THEATRES THE INAUGURAL "SEAL OF APPROVAL"

 New York, NY - February 19, 2016:  The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), a not-for-profit organization promoting visibility and increased opportunities for women in the field, is pleased to present its new Seal of Approval to 12 of New York City's not-for-profit theatres. 

The LPTW Seal of Approval honors leaders in the theatre community who have demonstrated commitment to gender parity in their hiring practices. The seal is designed to be a recognizable icon, provided to its recipients to be displayed in playbills, on web sites, and in printed promotional materials. By commending theatres when they put parity into practice, LPTW celebrates and encourages the hiring of women in the theatre and the producing of work by women.

The LPTW Seal of Approval is given to theatres as evaluated by the findings in the LPTW Report on Hiring Women Off-Broadway (2010-2015), first released in September 2014 and updated with figures for the 2014-15 season in August 2015.  The report, by Judith Binus and Martha Steketee, looked at hiring at 22 major Off Broadway theatres. 

Theatres are eligible for the Seal if they have produced at least two plays in the previous season, and if their institutional mandate is not the exclusive producing of women playwrights.  In addition, theatres are eligible for two different seals - The LPTW Gold Seal and the LPTW Seal - according to the following criteria:

The LPTW Gold Seal is awarded to theaters in which 50% of playwrights or 50% of directors (or both) hired in the last 5 seasons were women.  The inaugural Gold Seals are awarded to Ensemble Studio Theatre (playwright and director parity), Playwrights Horizons (playwrights), and Soho Rep and LAByrinth Theatre Company (directors).

The LPTW Seal is awarded to theaters in which 50% of playwrights or 50% of directors (or both) hired in the most recent season were women.  2014-15 Seals are awarded to Lincoln Center Theater (playwright and director parity); MCC Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club (playwrights); The Flea, The New Group, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; Roundabout Theatre Company, Signature Theatre Company (directors). 

There is still a glass ceiling, known as a "glass curtain," in our industry--for instance fewer than 20% of plays produced in the U.S. are written by women. Over the summer, to inaugurate the seal before the theatre report was concluded, LPTW granted a special seal of approval to honor a production: the groundbreaking FUN HOME on Broadway currently playing at Circle in the Square Theatre. 

Congratulations to all the theatres recognized with the inaugural LPTW Seal of Approval.

About League of Professional Theatre Women

 The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  It presents numerous events each year as part of its mission to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the field. None of its work is possible without generous philanthropic support. The League is celebrating its 31st anniversary and boasts a membership of nearly 500 women representing a diversity of theatre professionals in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. League members are actors, administrators, agents, arrangers, casting directors, choreographers, company managers, composers, critics, designers, directors, dramaturgs, dramatists, educators, general managers, historians, journalists, librettists, lyricists, press agents, playwrights, producers, stage managers, and theatre technicians. To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, please visit the website www.theatrewomen.org and click on the "Support Us" tab.