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The League of Professional Theatre Women Releases Third Women Count Report Quantifying Lack of Gender Parity

Stage Directions • Industry News • May 4, 2018
A shot from the Women Count March, a march to advocate for equal representation for women in theatre

A shot from the Women Count March, a march to advocate for equal representation for women in theatre

The League of Professional Theatre Women (Kelli Lynn Harrison & Lisa Rothe, Co-Presidents), an organization which has been leading the gender parity conversation and championing women in the professional theatre for over 35 years, has published the third in a series of reports authored by Martha Wade Steketee with Judy Binus, on the status of women employed in New York City theatres, with the goal of changing the conversation from anecdote to action.

The third report, Women Count: Women Hired Off Broadway, available at, analyzes employment in 13 professional roles – playwrights, directors, designers, and others – in 699 Off- and Off-Off-Broadway productions by 23 theatre companies for 7 complete seasons, 2010-2011 through 2016-2017 to show where women are and are not being hired.

“We notice that the world is unequal, that women’s voices are muted, that women aren’t present on production teams. The Women Count Report is about the power of numbers to augment advocacy; using solid information to change the world.” -Martha Wade Steketee

“Having numbers to point to gives us power in meetings with people who are in a position to hire. They can’t discount numbers, facts, or figures. The numbers prove and quantify an issue, and the LPTW has responded with advocacy initiatives to effect change and move towards gender parity.” – Judy Binus

To raise more visibility for this important study and the gender disparity in the field, The League of Professional Theatre Women will lead the Women Count March, a march to advocate for equal representation for women in theatre, on Tuesday, June 12. March participants will gather outside Circle in the Square Theatre (1633 Broadway between 50th and 51st Streets) starting at 5:30pm. The march will commence at 6pm and weave through Times Square and the Broadway district. The event is free and the League of Professional Theatre Women invites all theatre women and allies to participate in this march, as we boost awareness, lift our voices, and advocate for more opportunities for women in theatre. If you’re a theatre woman or ally interested in participating in the event please email

“The Women Count March serves to raise awareness of the lack of gender parity in the American theatre. Our goal, by shedding light on these statistics, is to open up the cultural conversation and change the narrative. The march is a positive protest that speaks truth to power, encourages women to feel empowered, and celebrates women’s voices.” – Mahayana Landowne, co-Vice-President of Programming for LPTW

The March will also bring awareness to #OneMoreConversation, a social media advocacy action towards gender parity, which asks theatre decision makers (artistic directors, producers, directors, playwrights, literary directors, boards, general managers, designers, etc.) to have one more conversation with a woman candidate before making a final hiring decision.

“Women Count’s emphasis on counting women artists in many disciplines is so important, but now that we have the facts, what do we do with them? The report has inspired a field-wide action — #OneMoreConversation, a tool to help all of us work toward gender parity in jobs throughout the theatrical eco-system.” -Susan Bernfield, co-Chair, Advocacy Committee, LPTW

#OneMoreConversation is repeatable vocabulary that gives theatre leaders a straightforward, achievable tool for expanding their pool of collaborators and diversifying their creative teams. #OneMoreConversation is not a quota, but simply a commitment to put another woman in the mix. If that one conversation doesn’t result in a job, that decision maker’s network will still have grown to include one more woman theatre artist or professional, and they may recommend her to others or collaborate with her in the future. Since relationships are everything in our field, #OneMoreConversation has the potential for far-reaching, long-term impact. The League of Professional Theatre Women encourages theatres around the city, and nationwide, to share this repeatable vocabulary. We congratulate and encourage theatres and leadership who achieve parity in their seasons, and on their producing, creative, and production teams, and call out those who still have a long way to go and encourage them to have one more conversation the next time they program a season, hire, or choose collaborators.

“Uniting these initiatives on June 12th synthesizes all of the work we have been doing by quantifying the Women Count Report, raising awareness with the Women Count March, and taking steps toward gender parity with the advocacy action #OneMoreConversation.” League of Professional Theatre Women Co-President, Lisa Rothe noted.

League Co-President Kelli Lynn Harrison added, “We encourage the theatre community to join us for the March on June 12th- if you cannot make it in person, please join us for this intersectional campaign which impacts every nook and cranny of our industry, by using #OneMoreConversation as a call to action on social media between 6PM- 8PM, asking theatre decision makers to shift their parity focus during the hiring process from awareness to action.”

Further information from The League of Professional Theatre Women:

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