[dropcap]This[/dropcap] might be our favorite time of year… and no, not because everything is currently melting in Los Angeles. (Hello, accidental sun tan from walking in and out of Trader Joes.) The Kilroys — the most badass gang of playwrights and producers in LA “who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action” — have released their yearly list spotlighting female and trans* playwrights. (And they call it, simply, THE LIST. Easy to remember.)
Some background: The Kilroys came up with THE LIST in 2014. It was their response to the systemic, pervasive gender bias in theatrical programming around the country — to curate and share a collection of unproduced plays, nominated by industry pros, written by female and trans* writers.
And it seems to be working.
“I owe my career to The Kilroys’ LIST,” says Jiehae Park, author of Peerless (THE LIST 2015, Yale Rep 2015) and Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (THE LIST 2014, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2017). Writer Gabrielle Reisman (Catch the Wall, THE LIST 2014) says, “As a tool for introducing writers to people interested in writers, THE LIST is unparalleled.” In a survey of LIST playwrights, 95% of respondents reported an increase of requests for their plays following inclusion in THE LIST, and 80% report subsequent productions at such notable theaters as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, Atlantic Theater Company and others.
This year, The Kilroys have partnered with our friends over at the New Play Exchange (check out this site if you haven’t yet, we’re obsessed) to provide anyone interested in THE LIST access to all the plays.
And it looks like that 2016’s THE LIST includes two LA playwrights and their work — Jennifer Maisel and Ngozi Anyanwu:
OUT OF ORBIT, by Jennifer Maisel: A mother and her teenage daughter. The Jet Propulsion Lab Scientist and the underachiever. Sara lives on Mars time, spearheading the Mars Rover Expedition, visiting a planet she cannot touch, while her daughter, Lis, on earth time, falls under the spell of the cyber-cypher Edgar2330. Sometimes it takes being worlds apart for an exploring woman and a longing-to-be-explored girl to find each other in our increasingly disconnected universe.
GOOD GRIEF, by Ngozi Anyanwu: Good Grief follows Nkechi, a young first generation Nigerian/American woman, as she rewinds, fast forwards and re-does her journey of love, loss, and growing up. (You can see Good Grief at the Kirk Douglas in February of next year!)
Congratulations, Jennifer, Ngozi, and all the other playwrights.
You can check out the full list here.