There has been recent attention focused on the gender imbalance in Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s 2016 season, and this has sparked further discussion around gender parity in the theatre community more broadly.
This is an important issue we and the theatre community have been seeking to address in recent years, however, it is clear our company needs to be more proactive.
Currently, gender parity is largely left up to chance via our submission process. Each year we do a public call out for artists to put forward work for our company to produce. In the last few years, we have seen a decrease in female directors attached to projects put forward and, for our 2016 season, we received 40 submissions with male directors attached and only 12 with female directors attached.
We are responsive to the artistic community and this is highlighted by our public submission process. However, we are an equal opportunity employer and we need to ensure better gender parity in our program and a greater diversity of stories told on our stage.
Darlinghurst Theatre Company is taking action by putting in place a gender parity curatorial policy and process for our upcoming 2017 season submissions and for the company ongoing.
Over the next few weeks we will review our artistic policy and submission process and release new submission guidelines. We will address gender imbalance with the view of achieving gender parity in our future seasons across all disciplines.
I am very proud of what our company has achieved to date in support of the artistic community including: award wages for performers; doubling audiences from our previous theatre; and Eternity Playhouse itself for which we raised $500K for its equipment and devoted countless hours to its realisation and opening from 2009 to 2013.
Our 2016 season includes Savages by Patricia Cornelius, a brilliant and potent play based on the Dianne Brimble case that investigates violence against women. This play will encourage discussion and highlight a pressing issue in our community. The season also includes Broken by Mary Anne Butler, which is one of the strongest plays of its genre I have come across in years. In terms of roles for women in our 2016 season The Pride, Broken, Remembering Pirates and A Man with Five Children all have excellent roles for women in key/lead roles. David Mamet's classic comedy A Life in the Theatre will be directed by Helen Dallimore.
Our company has come a long way but there is still further to go, and in 2016 we will achieve gender parity for our 2017 season.
Darlinghurst Theatre Company
Photos (clockwise from top left): Darlinghurst Theatre Company's 2015 Season - Detroit, Venus in Fur, Gaybies,
Good Works, Ride & Fourplay and Deathtrap. Photos by Helen White, Gez Xavier Mansfield and Robert Catto.
Posted 28 Oct 2015