LOS ANGELES: The Kilroys have released the third annual edition of “The List,” which features 32 industry-recommended new plays by female and trans playwrights. The L.A.-based cohort of playwrights and producers is committed to working toward gender parity for playwrights in the American theatre. According to the Count, an ongoing study funded by the Lilly Awards and the Dramatists Guild released in 2015, just 22 percent of productions in regional theatres over the three years prior were written by women.
“In just a few years, the Kilroys have done a huge amount of work to shift the paradigm about gender parity in the theatre,” said playwright Georgette Kelly, whose play Ballast was on the List in 2015. “They have increased my visibility as a playwright, called me to a greater engagement with the national dialogue about equity in theatre, and generally reminded me that a small, committed group of bad-asses can change the world.”
For a play to be included on the List, the play needed to be nominated at least five times by a cohort of industry professionals surveyed by Kilroys members; each industry jurist could nominate three to five plays. (Members of the Kilroys act as facilitators and do not recommend plays themselves.) The final 32 plays received between 5 and 14 nominations; 569 plays were nominated in total. Honorable mentions were given to 82 plays, which received 3-4 nominations. For the first time, the List only features unproduced plays; in past years, a play could have had one production to be included. Plays included on the 2014 or 2015 edition were not eligible this year.
Since the Kilroys launched the List in 2014, more than 100 productions of plays from the List have been staged across the country at theatres like Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory, and Atlantic Theater Company. In a survey of playwrights who have been included on the List, 95 percent of respondents reported an increase of requests for their plays following inclusion on the List and 80 percent report subsequent productions.
“I owe my career to the Kilroys’s List,” playwright Jiehae Park said in a statement. Park is the author of peerless (The List 2015, Yale Rep 2015) and Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (The List 2014, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2017).
The Kilroys are Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.
The 2016 List is below in full.
- The Art of Gaman by Dipika Guha
- Kings by Sarah Burgess
- Curve of Departure by Rachel Bonds
- Laura and the Sea by Kate Tarker
- Air Space by Tori Keenan-Zelt
- Radio Island by Liza Birkenmeier
- Cost of Living by Martyna Majok
- Dance Nation by Clare Barron
- Cygnus by Susan Soon He Stanton
- Pilgrims by Claire Kiechel
- Pretty Hunger by Patricia Ione Lloyd
- School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh
- 381 Bleecker by Gia Marotta
- Brilliant Works of Art by Donna Hoke
- Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops by Jen Silverman
- Merit by Lenelle Moïse
- Out of Orbit by Jennifer Maisel
- The Rug Dealer by Riti Sachdeva
- Transfers by Lucy Thurber
- Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung
- Wink by Jen Silverman
- Against the Hillside by Sylvia Khoury
- Eat and You Belong to Us by MJ Kaufman
- Firecracker by Rachel Bonds
- Good Grief by Ngozi Anyanwu
- Orange by Aditi Brennan Kapil
- Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu
- Roz and Ray by Karen Hartman
- Sofonisba by Callie Kimball
- Somebody’s Daughter by Chisa Hutchinson
- Welcome to Fear City by Kara Lee Corthron
- Wolf at the Door by Marisela Treviño Orta
*An earlier version of this story misspelled Liza Birkenmeier’s first name. It is Liza, not Liz.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!