A Dramatic Imbalance
by John Bailey | The Age | 18th October, 2009
The theatre world prides itself on its open-mindedness, but when it comes to the gender divide, it seems Australia's flagship companies are still way behind.
IN TERMS of blokiness, the theatre industry is rarely thought of in the same terms as the rugger-bugger world of sport, the macho model of corporate business or the old-boys' networks of academia. But recent weeks have seen those charges laid against the top figures of our peak performing arts bodies.
Last month, Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre announced its 2010 season. As each production was announced, its creators were invited to take to the stage. But as the numbers mounted something became glaringly obvious - amid the sea of what one Crikey tipster called ''male lookalike writers and directors'', only one woman was featured. On an ironic note, that director was Lee Lewis, who caused a storm several years ago when she called the theatre community to task for systematically ignoring non-white actors.
It wasn't long before the fury spread. The Melbourne Theatre Company's 2010 launch showed a similar skew, with one female director employed for the 12-show season. The Sydney Theatre Company offered another 12 shows: only three female directors... [Read More]