THE HISTORY OF WOMEN
WOMEN IN THEATRE (WIT) was created following
a Professional Educational Theatre Experience seminar held in
1978. A survey of theatre operators was conducted
to determine the percentage of women involved in Los Angeles
theatre and in what capacities. Results indicated there was
a need to introduce and educate theatre producers and operators
to the fact that women were capable and eager to contribute
in all areas of theatre, including writing, designing,
directing, producing, etc.
The reaction and interest was so keen that
regular meetings were scheduled, Membership grew slowly from
a small support group meeting in members' living rooms, to
30 dues-paying members in 1982, and to 85 members in 1986. Eventually
WIT had over 500 members and a well-respected reputation
in the Los Angeles theatre community.
In 1990, WIT received the official
501(c)3 non-profit status and received its first
grant assistance, The City of Los Angeles funded a Survey
1991 brought the addition of a stellar
Advisory Board composed of those who have already
achieved success in theatre and are supportive of WIT's
goals. Also in this year, the enlarged Outreach Committee
initiated an expanded Community Outreach Program.
In 2004 Women In Theatre established
an annual tradition --the Red
Carpet Awards. WIT honors a wide
range of individuals and organizations for their extensive
support and involvement in the live theatrical arts in greater
Los Angeles by acknowledging them as Red Carpet Award recipients.
A diverse group of twelve awardees are presented the prestigious
Red Carpet Award during a luncheon program open to the public
during the month of October. The October date was selected
to coincide with National Arts and Humanities month, thus
serving as an especially timely homage to the extensive Los
Angeles theatrical arts community.
WIT's programming and activities
evolved as a two-fold purpose: to both enlighten
the power center in the L.A. theatre community of the contribution
women can make, and to encourage women to explore opportunities
for involvement. WIT's current stated purpose is "to
nurture and empower both emerging and established women
in the theatre arts."
Activities include Quarterly Mixers, Luncheons
with special guest speakers, workshops, seminars and symposia
on various topics are produced regularly.
A weekly e-letter, monthly play readings, discounted theatre
tickets and socials provide networking opportunities.
WIT's membership uses its varied activities
to educate and empower women in theatre, to bring various
elements of theatre into the community though outreach programming
and to develop works and audiences for theatre in the future