Monday Night PlayGround
WomenArts Night
March 21, 2016 at 8pm
performing at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Topic: SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY: WOMEN AT WORK

There will be a free pre-performance discussion at 7:10pm on March 21.


Women make up half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce, but you would never guess that from watching plays, films, or television. WomenArts is asking PlayGround playwrights to help correct that situation this month by writing plays showing Women at Work.

Playwrights have been invited to submit original ten-page plays about an issue the woman faces at work, the differences between the ways women and men do the same jobs, the challenges of balancing work and family life, or any other angle you can think of. Here are the rules for this month:
1) The play must have at least one female protagonist of any species.
2) She must be earning money for her work.
3) She must communicate with another female character about something other than men at least once.
4) Try to include roles for women of color, since they are very under-represented on stage and in other media. (For instance, a recent study by Martha Lauzen showed that in the top 100 U.S. films of 2015, women were only 33% of speaking characters, and that 76% of those female characters were White, 13% were Black, 4% were Latina, 3% were Asian, 2% were other worldly, and 2% were other. In reality – as of 2015 California is 50% female, 39% Latino, 38.8% White, 13% Asian, 5.8% Black, 3.4% Other.)
5) Try to show women working in jobs that they do not usually have in plays, films, or television shows. Do not write about sex workers.

To learn more about the way women are portrayed in films and television shows, check out the excellent work by Dr. Martha Lauzen for the Center for the Study of Women in Film & Television (http://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/research.html) and by Dr. Stacy Smith for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender & Media (http://seejane.org/research-informs-empowers/). Additional studies about gender representation in the arts are listed on the WomenArts Employment page at: http://www.womenarts.org/womens-employment-in-the-arts/.

To find out more about the kinds of jobs women do in real life, try Googling “census jobs by gender” or simply ask female friends and relatives to talk about their work.

ABOUT THE SPONSOR: This month’s PlayGround is sponsored by WomenArts (www.WomenArts.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the visibility and opportunities for women artists, especially women in theatre, film, and video.

WomenArts has been a strong advocate for gender parity in the arts for more than twenty years. In 2015 WomenArts published The Not Even Report, Valerie Weak’s study of women’s employment in Bay Area theatres (www.WomenArts.org/not-even/), and WomenArts coordinated an international summit on gender parity in theatre in Toronto. (http://www.americantheatre.org/2015/06/09/7-steps-for-achieving-gender-parity-in-the-theatre/).

WomenArts also coordinates an annual international celebration of women artists called Support Women Artists Now Day or SWAN Day for short. (See www.WomenArts.org/swan/) Over the past 8 years there have been over 1,400 SWAN events in 26 countries, including substantial festivals in Kenya, Bulgaria, Germany, and Prague, as well as in cities across the U.S. Check the SWAN Calendar for upcoming events (www.WomenArts.org/swandates/) or the WomenArts Blog for articles about past events (www.WomenArts.org/blog/). WomenArts Night at PlayGround is part of the SWAN Day 2016 celebrations. A primary goal of SWAN Day is to create events that will inspire and entertain feminist audiences.