The entertainment sector is fast changing to become a place where the fight for female empowerment is taking center stage. That was not always the case, with music, movies and TV all being male dominated – certainly in terms of lead roles and lead producers. You only have to look at how feminism has grown in the movie Superhero genre for evidence of what has happened lately. Where women in these stories were once limited to supporting roles, they now take a lead in these movies which are increasingly based around strong female characters.
Theatre is another sphere of entertainment that has changed lots in recent years regarding gender equality. Broadway, for example, was historically dominated by male lead characters and shows that were produced by men. Recent times have seen this change somewhat as more female producers are taking their chance to bring their own unique visions to the stage. We’ve previously profiled actress-turned-producer Catherine Schreiber who is a Tony Award and Olivier Award-winning powerhouse, as well as the first female to win the prestigious Broadway Global Producer of the Year award.
Many of us are familiar with the global phenomenon The Lion King Broadway show but what may be a little less familiar is the fact that its success is down to the woman in the director’s seat – Julie Taymor. She has helped this musical become the biggest selling piece of entertainment in history. Not too shabby!
In terms of representation on stage when it comes to characters, we are definitely starting to see change (albeit slow), but with the announcement of Ali Stroker becoming the first wheelchair-using actress to win a Tony Award back in June this year, it became clear the industry is recognizing the need to diversify.
In celebration of this we take a look at some of the best female producers around who have shown their immense talents via outstanding Broadway productions. Of course, in turn they also showed just what women can offer to the highest levels of theatre when they are treated fairly.
There is no doubt that legendary producer Louise Gund deserves a mention. From developing a love of storytelling as a child, she has gone on to entertain thousands of people with her Broadway productions. It seems that the magic of watching Broadway plays as a child with her father really left a big impression on her. Since 2014, this remarkable lady has produced six productions in New York including All The Way, Head over Heels and Sweat. The various shows she has produced have been nominated for many awards including an Olivier Award in 2019 for Sweat. Theatre fans will also remember her production of All The Way scooping two Tony awards in 2014. Still active in theatreland, we can only wait to see what awesome play she will produce next!
When it comes to powerful female figures in Broadway bringing their visions to life, Eva Price is another top name. Along with others on this list, Price has shown exactly what women in theatre can do when given the opportunity. This talented producer has been nominated for three Tony awards in her career and has been behind more than15 Broadway shows. She is perhaps best known for her recent production of Oklahoma which was very well received. Ms. Price has also been behind the fascinating Alanis Morrissette themed play Jagged Little Pill. Known for plays which both inspire and entertain; she is certainly someone to keep an eye on.
Another big-name female producer on Broadway is Carmen Pavlovic. She is the person behind not only King Kong but also Moulin Rouge!: The Musical. Both shows showcase her knack for stunning visual imagery and putting on events designed to entertain. Moulin Rouge! Is actually still running on Broadway at the time of writing and is wowing audiences with its verve and style. These recent successes are the result of years of hard work. Pavlovic worked in various theatre companies throughout the 1990’s before moving to London with Clear Channel Entertainment in 2001. After a stint with Stage Entertainment, she set up Global Creatures in 2008 which is where she now completes her fabulous work. It is with this company that she has seen her most recent Broadway successes.
Fans of top Broadway productions cannot fail to know this name. She currently has a play running on Broadway called What The Constitution Means To Me which has already gained DiMenna many plaudits from critics and fans alike. This is by no means her first stab at taking a play to the stage before though. She has also produced a variety of plays to wow Broadway with, from Network to The Iceman Cometh and Bright Star. In truth, this is one very talented female producer who has been influential in theatreland for a while and has helped the industry become more inclusive to women. She is also a name that will hopefully be around for many years to come in order to share her creative vision with us all.
Broadway is slowly changing
The above named female theatre producers show just how Broadway is changing and why it should. The plays they have put on and continue to do so are some of the best around. To deny women like this a chance to show what they can do is crazy. Hopefully, people like Louise Gund and Carmen Pavlovic will act as an inspiration to other female producers to tackle Broadway head on and get what they deserve. As times slowly change around the world in relation to female equality, this is one area where the girls are starting to do it for themselves.