Today at 3:00pm, I'll be moderating a conversation on Gender Parity in American Theatre as part of The Hub Theatre's Play Fest.
While female theatre artists make up over 50% of those involved in the theatre, why are so few female playwrights being produced? Why are so few female directors helming shows?
Going beyond the numbers, which we know are dismal, this conversation will address gender bias in the media and work to demystify why plays written by men are for everyone and are more likely to be produced, while plays written by women are see as only for women and are more likely to be developed. What's more, we'll feature next step approaches for playwrights to learn how to market their work and establish relationships with directors and theatre companies. With this in-depth, honest and passionate conversation, we hope to identity the impulses that lead to gender inequity in the theatre and work to construct a better, diverse and more inclusive vision for the future.
Panelists include Eleanor Holdridge (Freelance Director, Catholic University Head of MFA Directing Programs), Michael Dove (Artistic Director, Forum Theatre), and Helen Pafumi (Playwright and Artistic Director, The Hub Theatre).
The discussion is free, but seating is limited. Click here to reserve a ticket!
Meet the Moderator
Jacqueline E. Lawton was named one of 30 of the nation's leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Her plays include: Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful;The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade (2013 semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference), Mad Breed, and Our Man Beverly Snow. Lawton’s work has been developed and presented at the following venues: Active Cultures, Classical Theater of Harlem, Folger Shakespeare Library, theHegira, Howard University, Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival, Rorschach Theater Company, Savannah Black Heritage Festival (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Shakespeare Theatre Company, Source Theatre Festival, Theater J, and Woolly Mammoth Theater Company. She is published in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project (University of Texas Press). Ms. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She is a 2012 TCG Young Leaders of Color award recipient and a National New Play Network (NNPN) Playwright Alumna. She has been recognized as a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference and the Playwright's Center PlayLabs, and as a SheWrites Festival finalist. A member of Arena Stage's Playwright's Arena and the Dramatist Guild of America, Ms. Lawton currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Meet the Panelists
Michael Dove is the Artistic Director of Forum Theatre where he has produced 23 productions, garnering 9 Helen Hayes Award nominations. For Forum, Michael has directed Holly Down in Heaven (World Premiere), Church, Mad Forest, Scorched, Angels in America: Perestroika, Amazons and Their Men (co-directed with Elissa Goetschius), dark play or stories for boys, Marat/Sade, Antigone, Valparaiso, Rockaby and Rough for Radio (for the DC Beckett Centenary Festival), The Memorandum, Hamletmachine, and BECKETT: The Shorter Plays. His other credits include Side Man at 1st Stage, A View From the Bridge at Cape Fear Regional Theater; La Corbière at Solas Nua (co-directed with Linda Murray); Dated and The Relationship of Archibald and Amity for the Source Festival; The Water Engine and Metamorphoses at Montgomery College; Snow Angel for the Imagination Stage Conservatory; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at Anthem Connection; and the upcoming productions of 4000 Miles at Vermont Stage Company and Can I Really Date a Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke? at the JCCNV. Michael is also a theatre educator, was a panelist at the University of Maryland on Samuel Beckett, and co-wrote an adaptation of The Fatal Marksman, which was produced at James Madison University. Michael is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the board of directors of theatreWashington.
Director, Eleanor Holdridge has Off-Broadway productions that include Steve & Idi, (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Cycling Past The Matterhorn(Clurman Theatre), The Imaginary Invalid, and Mary Stuart (Pearl Theatre Company). Regional credits include Gee’s Bend (Arden Theatre); Hamlet, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Lettice And Lovage, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Taming Of The Shrew(Shakespeare & Company). The Crucible (Perseverance Theatre), Educating Rita, Noises Off and Art (Triad Stage), Julius Caesar and Macbeth (Milwaukee Shakespeare), Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Alabama Shakespeare), Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare St. Louis), Henry V (Shakespeare on the Sound), Betrayal (Portland Stage), and Lion In Winter (Northern Stage). Her DC area productions include Double Indemnity(Roundhouse Theatre),The Gaming Table (Folger) Pygmalion (Everyman Theatre);Something You Did and Body Awareness (Theatre J); and Much Ado About Nothing(Taffety Punk). Eleanor has been as Artistic Director for the Red Heel Theatre Company, Resident Assistant Director at the Shakespeare Theatre and Resident Director at New Dramatists. She has worked at the Yale School of Drama, NYU and the Juilliard School and currently heads the Directing Department at Catholic University. She holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama. Eleanor’s upcoming projects this season are Zorroat Constellation Theatre, and God of Carnage at Everyman Theatre.
Helen Pafumi is the Artistic Director and co-founder of The Hub Theatre. Since the Hub's inception Helen has produced several world premier plays, multiple area premiers, an annual free staged reading series and commissioned original work from area artists. Her original plays have been produced by The Hub, and been seen at the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival. In addition to her role at The Hub, Helen works as an actor in many DC area theatres, including Folger Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Theatre J, Forum Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Rorschach Theatre, Keegan Theatre, The Inkwell, the Source Festival, and the Beckett Centenary Festival. She has appeared in numerous independent films and area commercials. Helen also does dialect coaching for George Mason University’s theatre program and coaches acting and public speaking. Helen holds a BA in Theatre from Virginia Tech. She has been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award in Outstanding New Play for her co-adaptation of Wonderful Life. She is the recipient of the Puffin Foundation Award and the Washington Canadian Partnership Award.
The Hub Theatre is an award winning, professional non-profit theatre making its home in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Hub Theatre is a member Theatre Washington. The Hub has received grants from Target, the Fink Foundation, the Arts Council of Fairfax, The Friends of Lake Anne, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Arts Council of Fairfax, Integrity Applications, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
The Hub Theatre endeavors to produce work that highlights our common humanity, providing a theatrical experience that is at once challenging and inclusive. We strive to be the physical center of a dynamic circle of story, art, and community, to create the transcendent exchange unique to live theatre.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!