The underrepresentation of women in theatre in key creative positions is a systemic and ongoing problem. Though there have been incremental increases in the past 35 years, women - especially Indigenous women and women of colour - are still crucially underrepresented in major artistic roles in Canadian theatre, with recent data showing regression in some instances.
Equity in Theatre (EIT) is a multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to remedy existing gender and related inequities in the theatre industry. Through a multi-pronged and inclusive response that involves the community as a whole (artists, stakeholders, and audiences), we promote dialogue, generate greater awareness of and exposure to women theatre practitioners, and develop community-based action plans to help fix industry imbalances.
Led by Rebecca Burton, PGC’s Membership and Contracts Manager, and Laine Zisman Newman, Dramaturgical Associate with Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, EIT launched in 2014-15 with four different components: a preparatory research study, a Symposium held in Toronto in April 2015, a website dedicated to Canadian women in theatre, and live performance events, including play readings, social actions, and more.
Equity in Theatre is run out of Playwrights Guild of Canada and is partnered with Artists Driving Holistic Organizational Change, Associated Designers of Canada, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, Deaf, Disability and Mad Arts Alliance of Canada, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (Canada), Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, Playwrights Theatre Centre, and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. Learn more about our partners and sponsors here.
With this initiative, the EIT team hopes to foster dialogue on an (inter)national scale, develop social actions that will help effect change, and generate greater awareness of and exposure to Canadian women in theatre, all the while drawing attention to the systemic discrimination that permeates the industry still.
EIT is made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.