Tag Archives: gender

Opening the Dialog for Women in Theater

woman at sunrise for grid banner

Summer 2015 was the genesis of a thought: Write about powerful women in Los Angeles Theater. Focus upon a more cohesive picture of theater culture. Open up a dialog about what the landscape really looked like for women. And discuss their integration in the performing arts. There was this temptation of course to be the underdog. In the last year alone, I’ve read article after ...

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Diverse Culture at Towne Street Theatre

nancy davis passing solo towne street

This month Towne Street Theatre hit the Hollywood radar with Passing Solo, a memory play set in the 1920s about two African American women who share a secret: Their birth certificates read “Negro” but both can – and do – pass as white. Footlights  took the opportunity to speak with company co-founder, artistic director, and star, Nancy Cheryll Davis-Bellamy, to get some insight about this ...

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The Bechdel Test and the Art of Politics

diversity bechdel scientist appearance

Have you heard of the Bechdel test?  It was developed to formalize an observation made by Virginia Woolf about the simplicity of women’s characters in literature.  A piece of fiction passes the test if, and only if, three conditions are met: The work has at least two women in it who talk to each other about something other than a man. Given the simplicity of ...

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Theater and Misogyny

women on stage b

Writer Holly Harper asks a very simple question: Theatre is about acceptance, so why can’t women be accepted?

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Homogeneous Hollywood Losing Money?

money down drain

On the heels of the recent diversity report from cross-town football rival, USC, today UCLA has released its study on the lack of diversity in Hollywood.  The 60-page scholarly report, created by the Bunche Center of African American Studies, is filled with numbers that are sadly familiar:  There can be no doubt that the entertainment industry is not a place of equal opportunity. This report ...

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Hollywood Diversity: Real-Life Stories

diversity hollywood discrimination footlights

The New York Times: The #OscarsSoWhite awareness continues with these stories from the field.  If there are more diverse roles, there would be more diverse Oscars.  Asian, Black, Latino, Female, Gay:  the story is always the same.  There appears to be a desire to use stereotypes to tell stories which only increases the awareness of the stereotype.  The present discussion may help break the feedback ...

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Diversity Stats in Hollywood: It’s Not Pretty

annenberg usc study 3

As the Oscars approach, we again are reminded that #OscarsSoWhite.  A scholarly report from USC entitled “Inclusion or Invisibility: Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment” yields some troubling statistics.  These include a 2:1 ratio of male:female speaking roles and that only 28.3% of all speaking characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Not surprisingly, the report concludes, in part: The film industry still functions as ...

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What do you mean, Diversity?

DiversityPuzzle1

Do you want to start an impassioned discussion? Get a range of opinions you didn’t even know existed? Mention the word, “Diversity.”   Boom, there it is.   The word that is fraught with contention, loaded with preconception and armed with rampant militancy. It is an ideal that is sought, a concept that is at times avoided, and for most part, profoundly misunderstood. As a nation, we ...

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‘It Doesn’t Matter If Actors Are Male or Female’

merely theater players

Radical? Maybe. Pursuing a modern concept of producing Shakespeare’s plays, artistic director and actor Scott Ellis founded Merely Theatre, which stage gender-blind productions in repertory, which he discusses in a brief interview with The Stage, UK. “I think in a modern society we should be aiming to be as 50:50 as possible. As good feminists, we believe that there should be equal opportunities for male ...

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London’s National Theatre Commits to Gender Equality by 2021

footlights gender parity

“Across the Pond” diversity is taking a front and center role as The Stage recently reported that National Theatre, South Bank London director, Rufus Norris, has just committed to ensuring to reach gender parity by 2021 for directors and living writers the venue employs.   The measure is part of a diversity drive at the South Bank theatre. “Gender balance across the whole organisation is massively important”. ...

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