For the last few years I have read a lot of coverage concerning the diversity of playwrights at theatres across the country. This year I began tracking the number of female directors announced by DC theatres. These are the numbers thus far: Number of companies that have announced data for the '13-'14 season: 11
Number of shows being produced by those companies: 70
Number of shows with TBA directors: 5
Number of announced female directors: 13
Number of announced male directors: 57
The numbers don't add up quite perfectly because five shows are two-director teams. The companies that have announced so far are Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, Forum Theatre, Happenstance Theater, Olney Theatre, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Theater J, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
The female directors who have been announced are:
Maria Aitken (directing Private Lives by Noel Coward at the Shakespeare Theatre Company)
Sabrina Selma Mandell (co-directing three shows at Happenstance Theater with input from the company)
Lila Neugebauer (directing Red Speedo by Lucas Hnath as part of Studio Theatre's Lab Series)
Molly Smith (directing three projects at Arena Stage)
Liesl Tommy (directing Appropriate by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins at Woolly Mammoth)
Holly Twyford (directing Edgar and Annabel by Sam Holcroft as part of the Studio 2ndStage)
Three female directors will be named as part of Theater J's upcoming season announcement. This last piece of information was confirmed by Managing Director, Rebecca Ende despite the fact that their season is not yet public knowledge. They do not have any TBA director slots remaining. I will update this section once I have the names of their directors and the titles of the shows.
Theatres that have announced complete seasons with no female directors:
Ford's Theatre (4 shows total)
Olney Theatre (9 shows total)
Round House Theatre (6 shows total)
Theatres that have announced seasons with no female directors, but have one or more TBA directing slots:
Forum Theatre (4 shows total, 2 TBA slots)
Signature Theatre (9 shows total, 1 TBA slot)
If these numbers concern you, I encourage you to write letters to artistic directors to express your concern or support. I have written a couple of letters already and plan to write one to Ari Roth thanking him for supporting female artists.
I'll continue to update this section as more seasons are announced. If I have missed a season announcement that you've read, please let me know. You can reach me on facebook where I have been posting this information up to now, on twitter, or here. These numbers do not include special events.