Addressing the obstacles faced by female playwrights on a daily basis, Lucy Perman, executive director of women’s theatre company Clean Break, gives her perspective on how sexism in the industry can be overcome
My heart sinks as the glossy brochure drops on the mat announcing another season of plays by male playwrights. It doesn’t surprise me — from my perspective as executive director of Clean Break, a women’s theatre company, the stage is still a male domain, particularly the main stages of most of our leading venues.
Women playwrights have more to offer than this suggests and a different story to tell. I’d like to see change — not tokenistic change, but genuine transformation of the theatre sector to create more meaningful opportunities for female artists. This responsibility for change is not just a moral responsibility or even (for the more cynical) a desirable marketing outcome, but a legal one, now that the Gender Equality Duty requires all public bodies to promote and adapt their services to meet the needs of both men and women. This ought to galvanise the sector into action — but will it?