About Me

My photo
Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The NY Times covers the gender bias a bit more

"Artistic directors of theater companies have maintained that no discrimination exists, rather that good scripts by women are in short supply. That claim elicited snorts and laughter from the audience when it was repeated Monday night, but Ms. Sands declared, 'They’re right.'"

Provocative, no? Read on!

The Times piece notes reasonable trepidation about the use of doollee.com as a main source of data. Nothing against doollee.com, but it's a catch-as-catch-can database and I'm not even entirely sure how it's updated.

For example, here's my own doollee.com page.

I've never personally updated this. I assume because of the blog, whomever is updating my page does so by pulling information from here. (Thanks if you're reading this!) Since it's no one's full time job, and since I don't get involved, there are discrepancies.

- They don't include the small production that I had in NH in 2000 of a play called The Message. (Long forgotten!)

- They don't include the currently running Glee Club.

- They don't include What To Do To A Girl but instead include The Standards of Decency Project, the festival in which it ran.

- They don't note the short play I ran at the Metropolitan about five years ago called 465.

- Trayf
, which ran at the Brick, is missing.

- They don't have an accurate theater or producer for the original production of Reasons for Moving. (It was the Local Productions, at HERE Arts Center.)

Is it wildly inaccurate? Not at all. In fact, it's rather good. All of the above are minor omissions. As a place to obtain good, clean data, though, it's not perfect or authoritative, by any means.


Unknown said...

Doollee is incredibly arbitrary and a terrible source. I have no idea how I'm on Doollee, but it lists a short play I submitted for a Worst-Play Contest in Chicago (which I won) in 2007. It does not, however, list the second play I submitted in 2008 for the second annual contest, which I also won. Why is the first play listed and not the second? How on earth did that play get listed in the first place??

Freeman said...

I say all this with the caveat (which should probably be in the actual post) that I'm sure that there IS gender bias, and that a lot of what's being said in the report is true. I just think that her own concerns about her data are well-founded.

isaac butler said...

The Doollee thing is the only part of the whole of the three studies that really gives me pause and makes me wish that an actual theatre professional (or ProAm!) had been involved in the study. No one in the industry as far as i know uses doollee. I only read it when i accidentally click on it during a google search.

I think everything else in the study seems totally sound, but i wonder about that aspect of the first of the three studies

Jodi Schoenbrun Carter said...

Times article neglects to mention that Sands cross referenced the doollee data with dramatist guild data. Unfortunately the industry has always been behind when it comes to data collenction.

Freeman said...

I think they do make a light mention of it, or it was mentioned in the New York Magazine piece. I'm sure that cross referencing was helpful. Also, to be fair...what else could she do to gather this type of broad information? I'm sure literary departments, overburdened as they are, wouldn't have information that's more accurate.

I guess I'm seconding the notion that we're behind in data collection anyway. In the era of exhaustive arguments for funding based on economic impacts and demographics, maybe this is one more reason for our industry to remedy that.