The Kilroys are a gang of LA-based female playwrights and producers committed to gender inclusivity in the American theater. They are creating positive initiatives to achieve field-wide change while working independently to advance the artistic and professional goals of their members.
The Kilroys formed in 2013 out of a shared desire to create positive solutions to the long-standing issue of gender-inclusivity on American stages. THE LIST is a tool for producers committed to ending the systemic underrepresentation of female voices in the American theater. Their first national initiative, THE LIST, was published today and can be viewed here. For a full list of nominees, click here. For a list of voters, click here. To nominate yourself as a voter for The List 2015, click here.
American theater professionals have long expressed an urgent desire to address the undeniable gender disparity on our stages. And yet the problem persists: Regional surveys routinely show significant bias towards production of plays by male authors. In three widely-discussed surveys of plays produced in the 2012-2013 season, only 10.5% on Broadway, 21% in Washington, D.C., and 22% in Los Angeles were written by women.
Using The Black List (Franklin Leonard’s yearly publication listing Hollywood’s favorite unproduced screenplays) for inspiration, The Kilroys surveyed 127 influential new play leaders to compile a mighty brain trust. Their responses showcase the abundance of excellent new work being written by women today: These experts identified more than 300 plays as among the best work they had encountered in the past year.
THE LIST comprises the 46 most recommended plays from this survey. In order to be eligible, a play must have been 1) unproduced or have had only a single professional production; 2) by an author who identifies as female; and 3) among the most excellent seen or read by the industry professional within the previous twelve months. The invited responders included Artistic Directors, Literary Managers, Professors, Producers, Directors, and Dramaturgs who had read or seen at least 40 new works in the last year. Each expert recommended three to five plays. To ensure unbiased results, responses were anonymous. All identifying information of recommenders was tracked separately from their recommendations in the survey software. The members of The Kilroys did not vote. The complete lists of nominees and recommenders are available at www.thekilroys.org.
The Kilroys believe THE LIST will be an important resource for theater leaders in season planning, bringing us one step closer to finally achieving our common goal of gender-inclusive production on American stages.
 The Kilroys recognize the complexities of gender identity, and the shortcomings of binary descriptors. We use this language as shorthand for the broad spectrum of female and genderqueer identity.
About the Kilroys
Founded in 2013, The Kilroys are named after the iconic graffiti “Kilroy Was Here” that was first left by WWII soldiers in unexpected places, a playfully subversive way of making their presence known.
The Kilroys are Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.