Welcome to 2024, a year of theater unknowns. But one trend seems clear, based on upcoming shows at Los Angeles area theaters: men continue to have their shows produced at rates exponentially higher than women.
Of 21 LA shows announced to date for January and February, I could only find eight written and/or directed by a woman. Four of those were written and directed by women:
- POTUS (Geffen Playhouse)
- Arrowhead (IAMA)
- From a Yardie to a Yankie (Theatre West)
- Both And (A Play About Laughing While Black), reviewed by the Buzz in a previous run (Boston Court)
By comparison, 13 were written and directed by men)
Two additional shows have a female playwright (Latino Theater Company’s three-play cycle A Mexican Trilogy: An American Story, solo show Kate at Pasadena Playhouse) and two have a female director (Mercury at The Road Theatre and Sweeney Todd at A Noise Within).
I’m looking forward to all of the upcoming shows written and/or directed by women—as well as many written and directed by men. Here are some to watch for:
- The Journal of Adam and Eve at the Garry Marshall Theatre
- Immigrants of the State from the Actors Gang
- Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet at the Ahmanson
- Marilyn, Mom & Me at International City Theatre
- Fritz Coleman’s Unassisted Residency at El Portal Theatre
There are plenty more that the Buzz team will be reviewing beginning this week. Erika Newman and Sika Lonner joined in December and reviewed three holiday shows. I’m thrilled they’re on board to share their extensive theater knowledge.
Meanwhile, I’ve been reliving some of the highlights of 2023 written and directed by women:
- Dominique Morisseau’s Blood at the Root from Open Fist Theatre
- Laura Gunderson’s The Book of Will at A Noise Within, co-directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott & Geoff Elliott
- Fetch Clay, Make Man, directed by Debbie Allen, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
- Writer/director Brynn Thayer’s Let Me In at Theatre 68
- Lines in the Dust by LA playwright Nikkole Salter at Rogue Machine
- Alexis Scheer’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
Happy 2024, and make sure to support local theater!