Part of The Muse Project's mission is to conduct and support focused research into women actors' engagement in local and national theater trends. We hope that this information will inform and empower artistic leaders to work towards a balance of gender in their hiring and season programming.
In 2015, actress Kyra Miller led an effort for The Muse Project to collect data about employment of women actors, on and off Broadway. This research comes with a myriad of challenges, from funding to access-to-statistics to the ways in which we collectively view and value the jobs of women actors. At the time, there was no known study about the employment of women actors in the theater. There had been notable studies about women playwrights, directors, and designers; but not women actors. There continues to be a dearth of research on women actors and their employment opportunities in New York and in regional theater. In the summer of 2017, Actors' Equity published a study they had conducted. It was the First-Ever Diversity Study Showing Disparities in Hiring in the Theatre Industry, and a key finding was that women are underrepresented in principal in a play (women make up only 35 percent of contracts), [and] principal in a musical (42 percent of contracts). Meanwhile, women who do find work are drawing lower salaries in both principal in a musical and chorus contracts. Below is a starting list of resources for artists looking for more information. This includes independent projects that aim to highlight women artists and their roles in the American theater. If you have resources you wish to contribute, please reach out!
The League of Professional Theatre Women is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the Professional Theatre. They do this through numerous programs and events.
The Interval is a theatre website, founded to be a virtual home for female voices of the theatre, with the goals of: i. Changing the conversation around women in theatre by asking smart ladies smart questions for a smart audience. ii. Promoting gender parity in theatre. iii. Creating a place to explore the diverse nature of creativity, storytelling, and careers in the theatre. iv. Bridging the gap between Broadway and Off-Broadway; plays and musicals; and on-stage and behind the scenes.
geena davis institute on gender in media.
Founded by Academy Award®-winning actor and advocate Geena Davis, the Institute is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve, gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under.
BanterGirl’s mission is to establish a diverse empire of creative women, shining a light on the many talents that they possess. We celebrate women for exactly who they are, without attempting to make them fit their ideas, or their selves, into the mold of culturally harmful industry “ideals.” BanterGirl’s mission is to show the world what it is that women are truly made of, helping to promote an equal playing field for all women throughout the entertainment industry… and beyond.