An article in the New York Times seems to think so, reporting a study by a Princeton academic called Sands. Quick summary:
*there are twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and men tend to be more prolific, turning out more plays
*the work of men and women is produced at the same rate
*Sands sent identical scripts to artistic directors and literary managers around the country, half of which named a man as the writer (for example, Michael Walker), and half named a woman (i.e., Mary Walker). The result: Mary’s scripts received significantly worse ratings in terms of quality, economic prospects and audience response than Michael’s.
*“These results are driven exclusively by the responses of female artistic directors and literary managers,” said Sands; “Men rate men and women playwrights exactly the same.”
* At the same time, plays and musicals by women sold 16 percent more tickets a week and were 18 percent more profitable over all…Yet even though shows written by women earned more money, producers did not keep them running any longer than less profitable shows that were written by men.
* Ms. Sands also found plays that feature women — which are more commonly written by women — are also less likely to be produced.
What do you think? I’d like to hear the opinion of our own esteemed Daniella Rebellato, for instance. [AR]