I love data. I’m a big believer in data. I think data tells us the truth about things we have a hard time seeing otherwise.
For the last four years, I’ve been collecting data about the demographics of the plays, playwrights, and directors that make up each DC theater season. Though my values are (I hope) clearly progressive, my intent is fundamentally neutral: to discover what’s there… or, to put it another way, to test the hypothesis that there are great disparities in the ways in which opportunities are distributed to artists of different gender identities and races and between national artists and local artists. It’s a difficult project.
Luckily, I have help. The current analysis of the 2016-17 theater season is the product not only of my own labor, but also that of my colleague (and fellow DC playwright) Olivia Haller. This interim report covers every show opening between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017. Our data at present are preliminary. We will be releasing a final report toward the end of that period.
I welcome any inquiries into the project.