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Two NJ Theatre Companies Receive International Centre for Women Playwrights' 2018 50/50 Applause Awards

originally published: 06/11/2018

Two NJ Theatre Companies Receive International Centre for Women Playwrights' 2018 50/50 Applause Awards

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) has announced its 2018 50/50 Applause Awards, honoring theaters that produce plays written in equal measure by women and men. At the same time, the Centre finds that the vast majority of theaters around the world are coming up short in terms of gender equity. The Centre received 103 nominations and only 62 qualified for the award.  The awards list includes two New Jersey theatre companies: Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown and New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch.

The awards honor theaters at least half of whose productions in their July 2017- June 2018 seasons are written by women. Further, a theater must have staged three or more productions during the season and have plays authored by both male and female in their season. For the 2018 Awards, only Main Stage productions were taken into account, as that is where most theater budgets are spent and where playwrights receive the most media attention and career advancement.

The 62 recipients of this year’s awards are found throughout Australia, Canada, Finland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, United States, and Wales.

For the 2017-2018 season, approximately 60% of the qualifying theaters are repeat recipients. For example, Here Arts Center has made the list for six years in a row, while off the WALL has made it for five consecutive years. Awardees range from community and college theaters to internationally renowned public theaters.

 "We are pleased to see that there are some theaters that, year after year, provide opportunities for women playwrights. We salute their efforts," said 50/50 Applause Award Co-Chair Patricia L. Morin. "However, we will witness more economic discrimination toward women playwrights (smaller stages, less performances, less pay), as well as the constant promotion of male voices, unless more theaters step up and join the ranks to support 50/50 gender parity."



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Academic and charity organization research continues to support the notion that there are gender inequities in theatrical companies around the globe.

For example, the League of Professional Theatre Women recently released the results of its 2018 "Women Count" study. The percentage of women playwrights represented by the theaters profiled in the study ranged from 29% in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 to a season high of 37% in 2016-2017.  This looks like an upward movement to be welcomed, but a closer look at the figures shows that five theaters profiled in the study had no women playwrights at all in the 2016-2017 study season.

In late 2017, American Theatre magazine reported that, out of 513 not-for-profit theaters across the U.S., only 26% of their new plays and revivals were written by women, with 62% written by men and 11% co-written by women and men.

The Playwrights Guild of Canada reported that for the 2017 season in that country, productions by male playwrights continued to dominate -- 64%, which was the same as 2016 -- and shows by women playwrights still hovered around the 25% mark.

The National Voice, a publication of The Australian Writers Guild, reported that, of 95 shows surveyed for 2017 that included Australian playwrights -- including those staged by state theater companies -- 56% were written by men.

The 2018 50/50 Applause Awards come in the wake of a momentous year for women’s struggle for equality in many different arenas. The #metoo movement that began in October 2017 rocked the film, media and theater industries across the world. The movement has shown how a bullying and sexually abusive environment limits the participation and career success of women.

A majority of theater artistic directors do not stage the work of female and male playwrights in an equal proportion, and this has repercussions for society by suppressing women's stories and filling the theater stages with the male imagination. The male presence not only dominates artistic directors, it dominates the theater boards, governing boards, and public funding institutions throughout the world.

The bravery of those speaking out in the #metoo movement is echoed in the words of Millicent Fawcett, the early 20th century British suffragist who campaigned for women’s rights throughout her life, and whose motto was “Courage calls to courage everywhere”.

To have a professional theater scene that encourages, enables and celebrates women playwrights, governing boards, public funders and artistic directors around the world should ask themselves if the theater programs they are supporting are enabling gender discrimination in favor of men, and silencing the voices of the creative women who have equally valid things to say. The 50/50 Applause Award certificate should be as important as fire and public safety certificates, and their theaters should not be able to open their doors without it.

At the urging of feminist and journalist Caroline Criado Perez, a statue of Millicent Fawcett was placed in London’s Parliament Square in April. In the foreword to the Fawcett Society report “Sex & Power 2018", Perez writes: “Finally, we have to stop pretending that the path to equality is out of our hands. Power is never given freely. Liberty is never achieved by chance. It is achieved by design. So let’s start designing it.”



The 50/50 Applause Award recipients for the 2017-2018 season are: 

* Indicates a Repeat Recipient

* 16th Street Theater, Berwyn, IL   USA

Acadiana Repertory Theatre, Lafayette, LA   USA

* Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Little Rock, AR   USA

* Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley, CA   USA

Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

Belvoir St. Theatre, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, CA, USA

Capital Stage Company, Sacramento, CA, USA

Catholic University of America, Hartke Theatre, Washington, DC   USA

* Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown, NJ, USA

* Central Works, Berkeley, CA, USA

Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

* Checkpoint Theatre, Singapore, Singapore

* City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Epic Theatre Company, Cranston, RI, USA

* Factory Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA, USA

* Globe Theatre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

* Globus Theatre @ the LAB, Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada

* Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Griffin Theatre Company, Kings Cross NSW, Australia

* HERE Arts Center, New York, NY, USA

* Horizon Theatre Company, Atlanta, GA, USA

Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA, USA

* Imago Theatre, Portland, Oregon, USA

Jungle Theater, Minneapolis, MN, USA

* Key City Public Theatre, Port Townsend, WA, USA

* Kitchen Theatre Company, Ithaca, NY, USA

* Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH   USA

La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA, USA

Lab Theater Project, Tampa, FL, USA

* Magic Theatre, San Francisco, CA, USA

* Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, CA, USA

Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Centenary Theatre Program of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA, USA

MCC Theater, New York, NY, USA

* Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company, Houston, TX   USA

New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch, NJ, USA

* Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL, USA

* off the WALL Productions, Carnegie, PA, USA

* Open Stage of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA   USA

* Paul Robeson Theatre, Buffalo, NY, USA

People's Light, Malvern, PA, USA

* Plan-B Theatre Company, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

* Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY, USA

Portland Stage Company, Portland, ME, USA

* Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

* Rep Stage Howard Community College, Columbia, MD, USA

* Round House Theatre, Bethesda, MD, USA

Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

* Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

* Shelterbelt Theatre, Omaha, NE, USA

* Shotgun Players, Berkeley, CA, USA

* Signature Theatre Company, New York, NY, USA

* South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins, MN, USA

* Synchronicity Theatre, Atlanta, GA, USA

* Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe, NM, USA

The Other Room, Cardiff, Wales, UK

* University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Theatre, Chattanooga, TN, USA

Wasa Teater, Vasa, Finland 

ICWP started in 1988 with a mission to support women playwrights worldwide and bring attention to their work. The ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards were founded in 2012 to increase awareness and applaud theaters that produced a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights. 





The Panto Company Presents "Beauty and the Beast" at The Newton Theatre
(NEWTON, NJ) -- When you think of a dying rose and a clock, candlestick andteapot who talk... you are thinking Beauty and the Beast. One of this season's spellbinding family shows from The Panto Company USA stars Dame Dotty Potty, Loopy Louie, Gaston, Belle and of course The Beast!  The company brings their show to The Newton Theatre on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00pm.
La Strada Ensemble Theater Presents "La Bella Familia" by Edwin Sanchez
(OCEAN GROVE, NJ) -- La Strada Ensemble Theater presents La Bella Familia by Edwin Sanchez from January 18-20.  The play deals with a Puerto Rican hit woman and the gentlest man in the world move next door to the neighbors from hell and everyone learns, the hard way, that family comes first.
Art House Productions Presents "The Passion Project" by Reid Farrington
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Art House Productions presents the unique theatrical experience that is Reid Farrington’s The Passion Project performed by Laura K. Nicoll.  Eight performances will take place from February 21st to March 3rd. The Passion Project is a 30 minute vibration between performance, film, and installation. Carl Th.Dreyer’s 1928 immortal masterpiece, “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is the main narrative along with the history behind the making of the film, a discussion with a Danish archivist, the story of making this project, as well as Joan’s own story –– her trial, torture, and execution. The Passion Project explodes the film into the three dimensions; placing the audience inside the film, sitting next to Joan, subjecting them to the relentless rhythm of 35 mm film projection.
4th Wall Theatre Presents "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage
(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- 4TH WALL THEATRE continues its 22nd season with a one weekend run of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel.  The show will be presented as part of the Black History Month celebrations on February 22, 23, and 24 at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ.  The show is directed by 4th Wall Executive Director Gwen Ricks-Spencer.
East Lynne Theater, the Henry Sawyer Inn, and Twin Gable's Inn present Murder Mystery Weekends
(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- The award-winning East Lynne Theater Company, with The Henry Sawyer Inn and Twin Gables Inn, present Murder Mystery Weekends on February 15-16, March 8-9, March 22-23, March 29-30, and April 5-6. Participants can test their crime-solving skills while staying in one of these lovely Bed & Breakfasts. East Lynne Theater Company's Murder Mystery Weekends were cited among one of the top five in the country by "AM NY."  


It's "Apple Season" at NJ Rep
Every family has stories. Some are funny. Some are sweet. Some are sad. And some are never shared. Those are often the most powerful.
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(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s concludes its 56th season with its sixth and final Main Stage production, The Winter's Tale. Last seen at The Shakespeare Theatre in 2008, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs this production of Shakespeare’s tragicomedic romance. Veteran company members Jacqueline Antaramian, Jon Barker, Erin Partin, John Keabler, Raphael Nash Thompson,Seamus Mulcahy, Patrick Toon, and Ames Adamson are among a cast of 20 actors. Performances run now through December 30. 
REVIEW: "It's A Wonderful Life" At Mile Square Theatre
Nestled in a corner of Hoboken, on the second floor, lies the studios of radio station WMST.  It’s a wonderful art deco studio, replete with fine wooden walls, embedded with colorful lights an applause sign.  On stage, we’ve got a few chairs, several microphones and a whole corner wedged with all the necessary props – piano, men’s shoes, sheet metal – to create the audio effects for the production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Betsy Aidem Puts A Woman's Touch On George Street Playhouse's "A Doll's House, Part 2"
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Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


MUSIC


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


THEATRE

"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm


KIDS

AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

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