Where are the Women? Answer: At the Script Centre!
In the wake of the debate surrounding this year's Philip Parsons Award, many people are asking, 'Where are the women?' We think we found them... or some of them at least.
Reading through the various opinion pieces that have started to emerge (see aussietheatre.org and joannaerskine.com/cluster) it occurred to us here at australianplays.org that we're sitting on a fair amount of data when it comes to examining the ratio of male to female playwrights represented in current playscript catalogues. Researcher, Jean Prouvaire, recently helped us shed some light on the gender question and we now have a clearer idea of the gender split of playwrights appearing on australinplays.org.
It would seem that The Australian Script Centre has tipped the scales in favour of the female playwright, with women accounting for 53% of playwrights represented in its current catalogue. (In the interest of transparency, The Australian Script Centre is the operator of australianplays.org and submission guidelines for its catalogue are available from ASC submission guidelines).
The ASC's catalogue comprises professionally written, production-ready Australian playscripts in manuscript form. In this instance, the stats certainly run counter to the gender split evident in the catalogues of other Australian theatrical publishers available on australinplays.org (who primarily distribute scripts in book form). The combined figures for these publishers show women accounting for 38% of playwrights represented in their collections.
It has to be said that these figures are more interesting than meaningful at this stage and we don't plan on drawing any 'long bows' about what all this means in the greater scheme of things. Jean Prouvaire has posted links to the full data in a discussion thread on joannaerskine.com (click here - see Dec 4).
For those who enjoy a good read, we've pulled together some of the latest additions to the ASC catalogue, from female playwrights. Enjoy!