Who Designs and Directs in LORT Theatres by Gender
The third phase of this study is almost identical to phase two. I continued to research the gender of designers, directors, and artistic directors at the League of Resident Theatre members. Collection and confirmation methods remained the same. For example, in cases where theatres run their seasons yearly, the 2013 season was combined with the 2012-13 season for statistical purposes, and so forth. I collected data and then sent what I found to the theatres themselves for confirmation. Only lead designers, no assistants or associates, were counted. In cases where multiple designers worked as co-designers, they each got partial credit. For example, Joe and Jane were the co-scenic designers of a production, so they each received 0.5 in the designer counting. Furthermore, correlation does not equal causation.
I would love the ability to examine many other areas of identity, such as sexual orientation and religion, but I still believe self-identification is the only way for that sort of data to have internal validity. In figuring out the gender identification, I have read production bios and used whatever personal pronoun I found. I still wish that this study didn’t support the stereotypical gender binary, and that there was a way for me to identify trans*/gender fluid/gender nonconforming/agender designers in another category, but unfortunately that was not possible at this time. If I had found a designer/director/artistic director using neutral personal pronouns, I would put them in a separate category. But I haven’t.
I analyzed yearly averages, now that there are four seasons to examine. I also dived further into director hiring by artistic directors to separate instances when an artistic director is the director of a production.
Over the course of this study, I’ve received several asks to expand the study to include more theatres, specializations, training programs, etc. Though I appreciate the interest in my study and the conversations its conjuring, doing additional research is unrealistic for me because of monetary constraints. I believe there is a misconception that I am getting paid to do this study, which is not the case. In fact, I’m losing money by conducting this study. There is a lot of labor, hope for the future, and love that I put into this study, and I’m happy to share my methodology to interested parties.
Phase Three is different in a few ways. For starters, I added the 2015-16 production season to the overall data. I analyzed yearly averages, now that there are four seasons to examine. I also dived further into director hiring by artistic directors to separate instances when an artistic director is the director of a production.
Of the then seventy-two theatres, sixty-three responded this year with confirmation of 88.0% of the 2,096 productions. All the graphs are based on both confirmed and unconfirmed information. In the case of one theatre, the “head” of the theatre is an executive director rather than an artistic director, so that’s the information I used for the statistics.
If you work at one of these theatres and would like your specific raw data, or would like to confirm information for future phases of this study, please write me at [email protected] from your institutional email, and I’ll happily send them to you. Please allow seventy-two hours for a response.
Thank you to all who confirmed data for this study over the years. It had been my pleasure and I wish you all happy seasons. And thank you to all the supporters of the study.
Graphic design by Edward LaBarbera.