The Kilroys—a group of 13 accomplished professionals who describe themselves as a “gang of playwrights and producers in LA who are done talking about gender parity”—recently released THE LIST 2016, spotlighting a total of 32 unproduced plays written by women and trans playwrights.
According to the American Theatre Magazine, only 21% percent of produced plays were written by women in the 2015-16 season. Despite their professional successes, the Kilroys are not afraid to acknowledge the magnitude of privilege and marginalization in the theatre world. When interviewed by the New York Times in 2014 about the Kilroys and their then-newly-released first-ever LIST, member Sheila Callaghan said members of the group had had “a lot of conversations with artistic directors who defend their season lineups by complaining they have no access to quote-unquote good plays written by females or people identifying as female.”
And thus, the LIST was born.
Each play on 2016’s LIST, which delves into genres like science fiction and romance, proves how abundant diverse storytelling—and storytellers—can be. In fact, LIST alumnus have already seen the effects the Kilroy’s collaborative efforts have had on their careers. “As a tool for introducing writers to people interested in writers, THE LIST is unparalleled,” commented Catch the Wall writer, Gabrielle Reisman, who was included in the THE LIST 2014.
The Kilroys have only been here for a few short years, but the impact they’ve had on the industry as a whole should not be underestimated. Every LIST they released challenges the assumption that work written by women and trans writers just isn’t there—and that’s a strong starting point to helping those writers finally break through in the industry.
Nicole Pina is an editorial intern at Ms. and a rising junior pursuing an English degree at Yale University. She spends most of her time either reading medieval poetry or editing other people’s essays on medieval poetry. When not subjecting her friends to a rant about the lyrical virtuosity of Kate Bush’s >Hounds of Love, she works as an editor at her college’s multilingual magazine and helps host a feminist radio show.