CHICAGO – According to a recent study, only 25% of the plays produced in Chicago’s 2015-16 theater season had female authors. Only 36% were directed by women. A deeper dive into the numbers suggests larger theaters cast fewer ratios of women than smaller non-equity companies, a sobering reality for female actors thinking about job advancement.
Disappointing stats like these and how the recent presidential election put misogyny and gender equity squarely in the media spotlight spurred 10 female identified performers and an all-female identified production and design team to devise Gender Breakdown.
A compilation of true, absurd, uncomfortable and gut-punching stories culled from more than 200 Chicago theater artists, Collaboraction Theatre Company’s first world premiere of 2017 is a response to the lack of gender equity on and offstage.
Vivid tales of violence, miseducation, segregation, and the ongoing disrespect and marginalization of women – even in Chicago’s acclaimed theater industry – pull back the curtain on real issues of misogyny, gender politics and racism within the theater industry and beyond.
Ultimately, via deeply personal stories from training, auditions, and the rehearsal room, Gender Breakdown theatricalizes the question “How is this possible, that in 2017, females are still marginalized in our community?”
Gender Breakdown is created by Dani Bryant and directed by Erica Vannon – the lead artists behind Spanx You Very Much, an exploration of female body empowerment through a 45-woman dance explosion, and the break-out hit from Collaboraction’s 15th and Final SKETCHBOOK Festival in 2016.
Previews are Thursday through Saturday, February 16-18 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, February 19 at 3 p.m., and Tuesday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. Preview tickets are only $5.
Performances run through March 19: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. No show Thursday, February 23.
Industry Town Halls are Monday, February 27 and March 13 at 7:30 p.m. On February 27, researcher Kay Kron will lead a post-show panel discussion with Deb Clapp, Executive Director, League of Chicago Theatres; Lori Myers, Not in Our House; Laura T. Fischer, Not in Our House; and Kimberly Senior, Collaboraction Founder and Director. The March 13 post-show panel features Kay Kron, Willa Taylor of the Goodman Theatre and more guests TBA.
Gender Breakdown is presented in The Vault at Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Single tickets to performances are $20-30; $10-$15 for students, educators and industry.
For tickets and information, visit collaboraction.org or call (312) 226-9633.