Welcome to Equity in Theatre


Select Statistics and Figures

- As artistic directors, directors, and playwrights, women in Canada's professional theatre industry have not yet surpassed the 35% employment marker.

The greatest disparity in gender equity happens in the playwright category. According to Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Annual Theatre Production Survey, out of 812 productions in the 2013/14 season, 63% were written by men, 22% by women, and 15% by mixed gender partnerships. 

- There is a significant need for research on how these roles break down in terms of other marginalized groups, including people of colour, Aboriginal people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ, who are likely marginalized further in the above roles. 

- Despite underrepresentation on stage, women constitute the majority of theatre audiences in all demographic categories. Statistics Canada data from 2010 indicates that women are more likely than men to attend theatre performances (49% compared to 40%), and men are 37% less likely than women to attend plays. Canadians who belong to minoritized groups attend theatre less often than other respondents, however, within these groups, women are more likely to attend theatre than men. 

- Developmental Theatres and Theatres for Young Audiences tend to be the most equitable, unlike Regional and Summer Theatres; thus, women are most often employed at smaller, lower-budget theatres, rather than the larger, higher-paying, and more visible companies. 

- Data collected in Australia, the UK, and the US reflect similar disparities, with women comprising on average 30% or less of artistic directors, directors, and playwrights. 

- Women earn less than men in major artistic roles. According to a 2011 National Household Survey, as actors and comedians, women earned 26% less than men; as authors and writers, women earned 12% less; and as producers, directors, choreographers, and in other related roles, women earned 16% less than men.

- Women constitute over half of all theatre school students, as at the National Theatre School of Canada, where they were 58% of the enrollment in 2014/15. Yet, after graduation, women make up fewer than 30% of the profession’s creative leaders. 

- There is a correspondance between women artistic directors and women directors, and women playwrights and roles for women actors, meaning that increasing women’s representation in one area will have a positive effect on the others. 

Industry comparisons over the last 30 years:

Table N.1: Comparison of Fraticelli, Burton, PACT, and PGC Study Results Industry Position 



Burton’s Findings 

PACT’s Findings (2010/11) 

PGC’s Findings (2013/14) 

Artistic Directors 
















What can be done? 

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