Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2018

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Jocelyn Buckner


Recently, society has slowly started to take initiative against the large gender gap that exists in positions of leadership. Though this gender gap stretches across all work fields, the theatre industry is extremely guilty of a lack of female representation in many of its career paths. In both studies and personal experiences, it is repeatedly reported that there are considerably more girls than boys participating in theatre during educational and formative years. Despite this, the number of female directors and artistic leaders in the theatre industry is significantly lower than males. Why is there such a large amount of young women participating and thriving in educational theatre and a vastly smaller amount of women leading the professional theatre industry? What should we be doing to change it? By researching the amount of girls who participate in youth theatre compared to their male counterparts, I will contrast these findings with the significantly lower amount of female industry leaders. Through interviews of professional working women, I will gain intimate knowledge of what it’s like to be a minority gender in this industry and gain insight on how they think the gender gap can be fixed. In 2014, 73% of LORT artistic directors were white men, and in 2016, only 20% of new shows on Broadway had a female director. In this study, I will explore why there is a lack of female directors and artistic leaders, what specific actions can be taken to change the disparity, and what the future must look like for women in theatre. With a combination of statistics found, interviews taken, and research done, I will be able to propose solutions to giving women equal leadership roles in theatre and subsequently estimate how long it will take to reach equality.


Presented at the Fall 2018 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.