League of Professional Theatre Women Unveils Analysis of Women Working Off-Broadway

By: Sep. 09, 2014

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), as part of an initiative called Women Count, are pleased to present an analysis of women employed Off-Broadway in the four most recent theatrical seasons. A number of efforts to count, study, analyze and report on the status of women in theatre, in recent years, have focused on playwrights and directors. This new study looks at a broader range of professional roles with a specific focus on Off-Broadway productions.

The study, conducted by LPTW members and professional theatre women Judith Binus and Martha Wade Steketee, and now available at theatrewomen.org, analyzes employment in 13 professional roles (including playwrights, directors, and designers) and provides an explicit focus on 355 Off-Broadway productions in 22 theatre companies for four complete seasons, 2010-2011 through 2013-2014. Women Count, part of the LPTW's Advocacy Committee, is charged with continuing to count women working in American theater in upcoming seasons.

Binus explains, "This report doesn't just list numbers. This report names women who have been working frequently during the study's four seasons."


  • Women playwrights working Off-Broadway ranged from a high of 36% in 2012-2013, to a low of 28% in 2013-2014. Women directors Off-Broadway ranged from a high of 39% in 2012-2013 to a low of 24% in 2011-2012.

  • Off-Broadway set designers studied are about one-third female, ranging from 27% in 2010-2011 to a high of 36% in 2012-2013. Thirteen female set designers with three or more productions are represented in the report period, accounting for 73% (82 of 112) of set design credits.

  • Off-Broadway sound designers range from a high of 22% female in 2011-2012 to a low of 14% female in 2013-2014. Three female sound designers account for 85% (57 of 67) of sound design credits for women during the study report's 4 seasons. Almost 50% of sound design credits during the study period are by Jill BC Du Boff.

  • National rates of female stage managers average 70%. Off-Broadway rates in the study's 22 theatres for the past four seasons approximate that rate for Production Stage Managers and exceed that rate for Stage Managers and Assistant Stage Managers.

  • For the four seasons of the study, the number of musicals was small, affecting the numbers and percentages of women employed in musical-related categories, including lyricists and composers.

Download a PDF of the report by clicking here.


On Monday, September 22, 2014 at 6:00pm: Oral History: Billie Allen interviewed by Phylicia Rashad. The FREE presentation takes place at Bruno Walter Auditorium New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (65th Street & Amsterdam Avenue). This program is produced by Betty Corwin and made possible by the generous support of Angelina Fiordellisi, Artistic Director, Cherry Lane Theatre.

Monday, September 29, 2014 6pm-8pm: Networking Monday "A Discussion: Designers and Directors," panelists include Carrie Robbins, Costume Designer; Jo Bonney, Theatre Director; Rachel Hauck, Set Designer; Janie Bullard, Sound Designer; Christina Watanabe, Lighting Designer; Shigeko Suga, Movement/Choreography. Moderators: Richarda Abrams and Romy Nordlinger. Theater Lab (357 West 36th Street, 3rd Fl.). Admission is free for LPTW members; $15 for non-members. To learn more visit: http://theatrewomen.org/2014/08/29/a-discussion-designers-and-directors/

October 25 through November 3, 2014 will be a celebration of the Gilder-Coigney International Theatre Award 2014. The only international theatre award of its kind, is presented every three years, this year's recipient is Patricia Ariza from Colombia. She will be in NYC from October 24-Nov 4 to receive the Award and participate in a series of events throughout the week honoring her 40-year career as well as the work of 20 other nominees from around the globe. http://theatrewomen.org/programs/awards/the-gildercoigney-international-theatre-award

ABOUT LPTW: The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. It presents numerous events each year as part of its mission to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the field. None of its work is possible without generous philanthropic support. The League is celebrating its 31st anniversary and boasts a membership of nearly 500 women representing a diversity of theatre professionals in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. League members are actors, administrators, agents, arrangers, casting directors, choreographers, company managers, composers, critics, designers, directors, dramaturgs, dramatists, educators, general managers, historians, journalists, librettists, lyricists, press agents, playwrights, producers, stage managers, and theatre technicians. To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, visit the website www.theatrewomen.org and click on the "Support Us" tab.


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