Ahead of its official Broadway opening, “Frozen” and Disney Theatrical Productions are hosting the first Women’s Day on Broadway.
The event, which will take place on March 12 in partnership with The Actors Fund, will feature panel discussions with women on Broadway and in entertainment. The goal is to promote mentorship and investment in women on Broadway, in the hopes of fostering gender equality in the community.
“By gathering together for this unique event, we hope to be able to provide a platform for women to share their experiences and find a collective opportunity for growth,” said Anne Quart, senior vice president of Disney Theatrical Productions, in the press release.
On Broadway, the lack of female directors has been a frequent topic of discussion, with Rebecca Taichman notably taking home the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play in 2017. In 2015, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori were the first all-female writing team to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score of a Musical.
On Jan. 22, Roundabout Theatre Company is similarly hosting a panel of women in theater, including Taichman, to talk about female representation in the industry.
Off Broadway, a 2015 study from the League of Professional Theatre Women looked at 455 productions across five years and found that number of female playwrights made up an average of 30% of produced playwrights, with a high of 36% in the 2012-2013 season. Female directors reached a high of 40% in 2014-2015, up from a low of 22% in 2011-2012.
Across the five seasons, the study found that the majority of set designers and lighting designers are male.
The Women’s Day symposium, which is free and open to women working in entertainment and the general public, will be held at the St. James Theatre, where “Frozen” will be in previews.
Alongside the event, “Frozen” will play a special performance on March 14, which will benefit The Actors Fund and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative.
“Women are an integral part of every facet of our entertainment and performing arts community, whether it’s on stage, on camera or behind the scenes,” Barbara Davis, chief operating officer of The Actors Fund, said in the press release. “It’s important that the women of Broadway—and all areas of this business—know that The Actors Fund’s sole purpose is to foster stability and resiliency in their lives, and to provide them with a safety net over their lifespan.”