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Theater's Audiences Are Mostly Female: Why Not the Roles?

I might have written this…

It appears that in many major theaters across the country, men’s roles out number women’s by half. One out of every three roles go to women. (An informal survey of 10 theatrical seasons from across the country that I did put women in only 35% of the total roles). This means that men’s stories out number women’s by the same amount.

Those of us noticing this could be considered big old whiners if it weren’t for some solid business-y sounding facts: 

  • Women buy 70% of theater tickets sold
  • Women make up 60%-70% of its audience (see hereand here)
  • On Broadway, shows written by women (who statistically write more female roles than men) actually pull in more at the box office than plays by men

In any other market the majority of consumers would significantly define the product or experience. Why not theater?”

  • 8 March 2013
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