When Women Won’t Accept Theatrical Manspreading

So the news is not great. Yet I find myself optimistic, unable to shake the sense that something is changing — that in a year that began with women’s marches erupting around the globe, female theater makers are less willing to tolerate the stubborn status quo.

Ms. Vogel, whose show runs through Aug. 6 at the Cort Theater, is declining to exit Broadway with decorous gratitude, insisting instead on talking, in the news media and on Twitter, about what she sees as a system stacked against women. (She includes this newspaper.) Kate Whoriskey, the director of “Sweat,” told me this spring that she spent years batting away reporters’ questions about the gender gap in directing but now believes that refusing to discuss it is part of the problem.

It is awkward, in a field that espouses liberal values, to point out the disparity between women and their male colleagues. But it’s pretty glaring. You don’t have to squint to see it.


The Pocket Universe production of “Julius Caesar” was set in an all-girls high school.

Carol Julien

‘The Noblest Girl’

Earlier this summer, in a fourth-floor theater way downtown, there was a “Julius Caesar” that did not attract protesters or make the international news like the recent Shakespeare in the Park production did, with its Trump-like title character. Though less polished, the Pocket Universe staging was the more radical take on the tragedy — set in an all-girls high school and performed by young women building their dramatic muscles in roles that almost always go to men.

Not so different, you might think, from Phyllida Lloyd’s ferocious all-female Donmar Warehouse production a few years back at St. Ann’s Warehouse. Yet in the Pocket Universe version, all of Shakespeare’s characters were girls, and the word “girl” replaced “man” throughout the…

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