The Kilroys Release Vetted List of Un- and Under-Produced New Plays by Women, Trans, and Non-Binary Writers
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The Kilroys seek to focus attention on underrepresented voices as a powerful means of overcoming the systemic and implicit biases that create exclusion. Historically, women and trans writers face more discrimination than other groups. Through these efforts, attention on underrepresented voices has increased visibility and opportunity. THE LIST 2019 represents this mission and continues the fight to achieve gender parity in the American Theater.
The Kilroys created THE LIST survey in 2014 in response to systemic gender bias in theater programming. The vetted collection of industry-recommended works was designed to bring worthy plays by women, trans, and non-binary playwrights to the forefront of the American theater conversation, and it has: in the first four years of its existence, THE LIST has featured 165 plays (in 2014, 46 plays; in 2015, 53 plays; in 2016, 32 plays; and in 2017, 34 plays). Since its inception, over 1,000 plays have been nominated by more than 300 industry professionals, and more than 100 productions of plays on THE LIST have been announced and/or produced.
This year, in an effort to widen their scope and attention toward the underrepresented, and to explore the intersectional facets that make up the dynamics of bias, The Kilroys asked nominators to recommend plays by women, trans, and non-binary writers who have never before been on The Kilroys' LIST. THE LIST 2019 features 33 of the most recommended un- and under-produced new plays written by women, trans, and non-binary writers culled from an industry-wide survey of professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors, and dramaturgs from all 50 states and abroad. To be a nominator, theater professionals must have read or seen at least 40 plays in the previous year, and they are then invited to nominate themselves as respondents for the following year’s LIST. Play recommendations for THE LIST are submitted anonymously, and members of The Kilroys act as facilitators throughout the process but do not themselves recommend plays.
Momentum for women theater makers is on the rise, despite continued under-representation of women, trans, and non-binary playwrights on American stages. According to The Count, (an ongoing theater study about who American theater is producing, initially released in 2015, and funded by The Lilly Awards in partnership with The Dramatists Guild of America), just 22% of productions in regional theaters from 2012-2015 were written by women. The Count 2.0, just released in 2018, showed that productions by women-identified playwrights had increased by 8.5%, and plays by women of color had increased by 6.1%. The Kilroys are encouraged by the evidence that amplifying underrepresented writers works and are now determined to make sure this uptick in productions by women writers represents not just a reactionary fad but sustained progress.
The List survey used the following criteria this year:
● Each industry respondent may recommend up to 5 plays, representing the most outstanding work they have encountered in the past 12 months.
● A nominated play must have had no more than one professional production.
● Only playwrights whose plays have never before appeared on The Kilroys List are eligible; playwrights whose work has previously made the Honorable Mention section of The List are eligible.
THE LIST 2019 is available at www.thekilroys.org.
The Kilroys are: Jaclyn Backhaus, Hilary Bettis, Jennifer Chambers, Claudia de Vasco, Emma Goidel, Christina Ham, Jessica Hanna, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Obehi Janice, Hansol Jung, Chelsea Marcantel, Caroline V. McGraw, Bianca Sams, and Gina Young.