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SPECIAL EVENT | Women in Theatre Symposium


The theater industry, like most areas, has a gender disparity. In the 2015-16 season, according to a study by American Theatre Magazine, only 21 percent of 1,914 plays produced were written solely by women (67 percent by men and 12 percent were co-written). Women do account for 72 percent of stage managers and assistant stage managers, but just 33 percent of directors are female — and the numbers for artistic directors and company heads are dismal. While a play worth its weight should give substance to its female characters, women are underrepresented in the highest levels and technical areas of theater companies.

The Carolyn Bowman Theatre Symposium on Friday will bring together 17 women, many of them Rochester-based, for panel discussions and workshops covering a range of topics. Rochester Latino Theatre Company Co-Founders Stephanie Paredes and Annette Ramos will talk about starting a company; there will be a talk given by American Theatre magazine Associate Editor Diep Tran on writing about theater; and Heather Stevenson, co-founder of PUSH, will lead a "Physicality for the Actor" workshop. Panels and workshops will also include actor and director Esther Winter; Dawn Kellogg, Geva Theatre communications manager; WallByrd Theatre's Virginia Monte; Blackfriars Theatre Development Manager Mary Tiballi Hoffman; among several other local actors, professors, and theater leaders.

The Carolyn Bowman Theatre Symposium takes place Friday, April 7, in Roberts Wesleyan College's Cultural Life Center, 2301 Westside Drive. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door; and free for Roberts students. More information can be found at