By Jane Howard
12 April 2019
In 2009, director Neil Armfield stood on the stage at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre and announced, for his swansong season as artistic director of the company he co-founded, a season of shows almost exclusively written and directed by men.
It was a moment that prompted considerable scrutiny of industry-wide gender disparity.
In that year, at the eight best-funded Australian theatre companies — members of the Major Performing Arts Group (MPAG) — just 24 per cent of plays were written by women, and 24 per cent were directed by women. A staggering 86 per cent of productions had at least one man as writer or director.
But in the decade since, something remarkable has happened. The balance has shifted.
In 2019, women will make up 47 per cent of playwrights and 58 per cent of directors at MPAG theatre companies. And, for the first time ever, more of these productions will have at least one woman in a lead creative role (67 per cent) than at least one man (60 per cent).
Read more in ABC Arts.