Mar 18, 2010

The Gender Theory of Broadway Transfers

NY Post critic Elisabeth Vincentelli adds her voice to the well-rehearsed argument about whether women playwrights have a harder time getting produced than their male counterparts. After clearing the complaints of the oft-produced Theresa Rebeck from her plate, Vincentelli puts some fresh meat on the bones of the thesis:
I think Rebeck's argument would gain credibility and traction if she questioned things like why the only show from last season's crop to transfer from off to Broadway is Geoffrey Nauffts' "Next Fall"--about gay men. Consider, after all, that several plays written by women had very healthy runs last year but didn't transfer: Melissa James Gibson's "This" and Annie Baker's "Circle Mirror Transformation" come to mind, not to mention the elephants in the room that are Gina Gionfriddo's "Becky Shaw" and Lynn Nottage's "Ruined." You might say they were too small for a Broadway house, or that their appeal is too narrow. But 1. this argument is bunk because it paints a depressing picture of Broadway as being hospitable only to British imports and big musicals (but then perhaps it is), and 2. you can easily say the same thing of "Next Fall," and there it is, at the Helen Hayes Theatre.

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