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Theatre Pro Rata Takes Home 50/50 Applause Award


Theatre Pro Rata was recently honored by The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) with a 50/50 Applause Award for producing a season of theatre with at least 50% of their shows written by women. Theatre Pro Rata's 2012-13 season featured work by Jennifer Haley (Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom) and Lauren Gunderson (Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight).

However, the season didn't come about from any specific attempt at gender equality. Artistic Director Carin Bratlie said, "We always look for the best plays, regardless of gender. The same goes for all jobs, we simply try to hire the best person. This means we often have female directors and designers, as well as lots of gender-swapping in our casting. This is true in our company leadership as well, we have a female Artistic Director and Board Chair, as well as a majority of women in both our company and board."

A study report from the Gender Equity Task Force in Chicago found that "Plays written by women (either one woman or a group of all women) constituted 18.8% of plays produced in Chicago...roughly in line with recent statistics from New York theaters and from Theatre Communications Group member theatres, which found that between 17% and 20% of plays produced by those groups are written by women." (Chicago Storefront Summit, March 22, 2010) In two studies on the 2012-2013 season, Washington DC productions showed a slight uptick to 21% (DC Theater: A Demographic Analysis, 2013) and women playwrights were faring even better in Canada with 23%. (Playwrights Guild of Canada, 2013).

Pro Rata was among 29 recipients honored by the ICWP including theatres from The United States, India, Norway, Italy and Canada. President of ICWP, Dr. Jennifer Munday, says, "We are delighted with the response from both theatres and members who see this award as a demonstration of their commitment to women's writing." Among the recipients were two other companies from the Twin Cities, Mixed Blood Theatre and the Children's Theatre Company.

Since 2001 Pro Rata, Latin for "in proportion," has produced smart, vivid, varied, and gutsy theater in the Twin Cities. Focusing on the text of the play, the company offers performers and audiences the chance to engage the characters, themes and language more completely. Ranging from classic dramas to modern black comedies, Theatre Pro Rata produces scripts that engender this exploration while still bringing visceral theatrical experiences to the stage.

Recent accolades for Pro Rata include rave reviews and record-breaking attendance for its last production, Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (2013), T Bone N Weasel being named one of the top ten productions of the year (2012 City Pages), and three year end mentions for Waiting for Godot (2011, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and City Pages).

Theatre Pro Rata utilizes a unique sliding scale for ticketing, allowing patrons to name their own price from $14 to $41.

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