Since 1995, lighting designer Porsche McGovern has been a pioneer in terms of seeking gender parity among designers who work in LORT theatres, and by extension the entire entertainment design community, which should follow suit.
Her first study (click here) revealed that the results were decidedly male. At that time she wrote: “I started working on a project about designers in the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) because I wanted to know who gets hired to design in regional theatres in the United States. I wanted to know about racial/ethnic and gender demographics amongst theatre designers. As a person of color, I strongly believe in self-identification. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to gather enough self-identified demographic information to be statistically representative.”
Five years and several phases of her project later (check them out on Howlround), including the most recent, Who Designs and Directs in LORT Theatres by Pronoun: 2019, along with a Patreon post to raise funds, McGovern thinks she has found a way to gather that information: via a survey. “I’m launching this survey to look at a few more aspects of social identity. Please fill it out if you’ve designed or directed a LORT show, or been an artistic director at a LORT theatre, from the 12-13 season to now. If you can share it with your networks, I’d really appreciate it. Having this Patreon and all of you supporting this work makes trying new ways to look more deeply and broadly at who designs and directs in LORTs possible. Thank you for everything.”