50/50 in 2020 — Join the movement
50/50 in 2020 ANNOUNCEMENT
Please come to a special 50/50 in 2020 meeting June 3 at 5:45 at the Julia Miles Theatre, 424 West 55th Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenues) to celebrate and advocate! As the first year of 50/50 in 2020 closes, we have great achievements to review and great plans for the coming year. Attendance is free. Become a “50/50…” fan at http://www.facebook.com/5050in2020.
What is “50/50 in 2020?”
50/50 in 2020 is a non-hierarchical grassroots movement dedicated to achieving parity for women in theatre by the hundredth anniversary of American suffrage. Membership is inclusive and free. The organization exists to encourage and support independent initiatives that promote: the acknowledgement of the contribution of women to theatre; research on the status of women in theatre; awareness, advocacy, empowerment and change.
50/50 in 2020 was initiated by Susan Jonas (Ithaca College), Melody Brooks (Artistic Director, New Perspectives Theatre Company), and Julie Crosby (Producing Artistic Director, Women’s Project) and is endorsed by The League of Professional Theatre Women.
What can “50/50 by 2020” achieve?
Since last our first meeting last August, almost 2,000 people have joined our Facebook page. Numbers matter; women count. The press has taken note of our mission, and “50/50 in 2020” was awarded the 2009 New York Theatre Experience “Person of the Year Award” for contribution to the field. “50/50…” working groups have created several amazing projects, myriad ways of pursuing our goal of parity by 2020. Among them are the following:
Under the leadership of Andrea Lepcio and Cynthia Cooper, and in collaboration with Martin Denton and New York Theatre Experience, the “Plays by Women” site was created. It includes “The Profile Project” which brings attention to and celebrates women playwrights on our way to our goal of parity. Visit the site at INSERT URL (one provided was incorrect). If you are interested in writing a profile, contact email@example.com.
The site also includes weekly listings of all plays written by women being produced in New York City. Want to support women in theatre? See what’s playing and choose to see a play by a woman. Visit: http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/bywomen.php.
And speaking of putting your money where your mouths is, join the WORKS BY WOMEN “Meet Up” group, conceived of by Ludovica Villhauser, who co-directs it with Lanie Zipoy and Helen Stern. It costs nothing to join, and producers support the group with deeply discounted tickets to plays by women on designated evenings. The events often include special talk-backs, and always offer the opportunity to share the experience with others and to make new friends. In mere months, 250 members have enjoyed the benefits. Visit: http://www.meetup.com/Works-by-Women/
A working group consisting of Yvette Heyliger, Andrea Kuchlewska, Susan Jonas, Melody Brooks, Julie Crosby and Gwynn MacDonald has initiated the creation of a coalition of organizations and unions to create a universal research project that will result in an accessible regularly updated database on employment and representation of men and women in theatre, by age, race and educational background; by region, state and city; by theatre and budget tier. Once the coalition is formed, it will solicit support from foundations and partnerships with universities.
We are so proud of these achievements and excited about their potential. But to reach our goal, we need much more action! Everyone needs to DO SOMETHING! How can you make 50/50 by 2020 not a hope, but a fact?
Can You Participate?
“50/50…” welcomes all who share the expectation of parity and are willing to work towards its achievement. All you have to do is become a fan on the Facebook page to receive notifications of meetings, and then attend. You can support women in theatre in many ways, by joining the initiatives underway or starting new ones. The important thing is to DO SOMETHING!
This has been a banner year for women, as the newly launched Lilly Awards showed. There’s a zeitgeist, but it will be vast and sustained action that makes the ultimate difference, so let’s not stop now!