Women Playwrights Initiative A NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO CELEBRATE AMERICAN WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS
The NTC Women Playwrights Initiative was established in 2010 following a passionate and persuasive address made by Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Playwright and NTC member Robert Schenkkan at our Meeting of the Membership. The initiative, which was originally supported and launched by President Dan Carter and the NTC Board of Trustees, represents NTC’s commitment to providing opportunities for women playwrights at all levels of production. NTC members are asked to bring the initiative and its aims to those producing organizations with which they are allied. Over the course of the past eight years, we estimate that over 500 such productions have been mounted in community, academic, and professional venues.
Our initiative, like others, stands in support of the 50/50 in 2020 movement, which aims at achieving gender parity for women playwrights.
Here is the original announcement:
We at the NTC believe there are currently an extraordinary number of playwrights working in America. We recognize however, that production opportunities are becoming more difficult to find for all playwrights, and that Women Writers especially face even greater challenges in getting produced. Accordingly, we would like to announce a new National initiative and urge all our members who are affiliated with producing entities, be they professional or non-professional, to join together and pledge the following:
For the next three years*, we will dedicate at least one production slot per year to a Contemporary Female American Playwright.
This will be a full production in line with what you normally do. Not a reading. Not a workshop.
Even though current financial conditions are daunting, we encourage all members to make a residency available to their writer during their production.
This need not be a World Premier. It can be, if you so choose, but most writers will tell you what they really need is that critical second or third production that really allows them to finish their play.
This need not be a “New Emerging Writer.” Again, it can be, if you so choose but it can also be the work of a mid-career dramatist, or a mature writer. There are lots of writers out there who were once (and ever so briefly) the “new writer.” They haven’t gone away, they’ve just gotten better. They need productions, too.
The only other stipulation is that it cannot be a play which has had a Broadway production in the last five years. Those plays are already being done. Let’s spread the wealth around!
We ask that those of you participating insert the following statement in your playbill for each play produced as part of this initiative:
“This production is part of the NTC National Initiative to Celebrate American Women Playwrights. The National Theatre Conference (NTC) founded in 1925, encourages and supports the American Theatre through its initiatives, awards, and colloquy. For more information, see www.nationaltheatreconference.org”
The letter was written by a committee made up of members Robert Schenkkan, Kathleen Conlin, and David Fuller, with the support of President Dan Carter, the NTC Officers and Board of Trustees.
The National Theatre Conference remains committed to the Women Playwrights Initiative and is proud of its contribution to this important movement. We are currently engaged in the process of documenting the initiative. Check this site and/or our Facebook page for updates.