Erin Pike Performs Only the Women’s Parts from the Most-Produced Plays in America, and It’s Brilliant


Oh this sounds fantastic! What a cool idea!
This just in: reading lines of dialogue in plays is sexist! Patriachy!

Cmon, women have a sense of agency. Are we really expected to believe they are "forced" to read "impossible" scripts, and are insulted if they can't? The insults i see here are to the playwrights, who were mostly born with penises and therefore at fault, because penises. Read a few stage directions aimed at a man, and you'll see they are "impossible" too.
I don't usually jump on this train but Meaker's work creatively and effectively illustrates the subtle bias at play here.
Yes, Nihilist Apatheist, many stage directions written for men are ridiculous and impossible as well. Some of those are impossible for the same reasons the directions written for women are impossible: they're stereotypes and not people. Perhaps if the show only used stage directions your argument would have some merit, but having worked in theatre for forty years now I've seen how slim the pickings are for women in the business, and how often the roles available are terribly written. My experiences as a man performing male roles written by women, on the other hand, has been wonderful. (I'm not suggesting, by the way, that aren't men writing brilliant parts for women. Tennessee Williams, Michel Tremblay, Wallace Shawn have all written phenomenal roles for women, but they're exceptions.)

Are women "forced" to do the stereoptypical, thin, banal and often insulting roles so many male writers write for women? No, they can choose to leave the profession, or create their own work. Many do those things, but most actors are not in the business to create new work but to interpret it. I watch my female colleagues with awe sometimes, make proverbial silk purses out of sow's ears. The playwrights in question aren't being challenged "because they have penises" but because many of them just don't seem to have the empathetic imagination to write interesting roles for women.
Hmmm not sure using Daphna as an example is a great argument. I think that character is really well written and challenging and complex on a number of different levels. As an actor I would be proud to tackle that role (I am way too old now but it would have been a gem of a role). It would have been nice for you to use other plays as an example to give us more of an idea of what was achieved in this piece, focussing on one play doesn't give us much insight into the rest of the production. It does sound like an interesting concept though. Helen Ellis...Producer/Director/Actor