First quarterly report: jobs onstage

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures

Here it is. Further to an earlier post Jobs for the girls: logging the stats and as promised, herewith the first of 4 planned reports of cast numbers in programmed productions for both subsidised companies in Brisbane in 2011.

Plays include: Julius Caesar; Boy Girl Wall (La Boite) and Sacré Bleu; Man=Man & The Elephant Calf; Water Falling Down – opens this week (Queensland Theatre Company)



As at 4.4.11


Any errors or omissions, please let us know.

Not included in the stats is employment in play-readings, workshops and other creative development activities for both companies which, to be fair, include job opportunities for actors.

A much better and fuller picture would include figures for independent productions. Whilst this would be problematical as a ‘living-wage’ employment statistic – most indie productions are stipend or fee-based, deferred payment or non-waged – it would give a sense of how many performance opportunities are being made available for female actors, which is where this conversation began.

Jobs for the girls? Logging the stats

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures


When subsidised theatre companies announce their seasons for the year, one of the hottest topics around relates to an industrial issue – employment opportunities. Whilst there is also great interest in what shows will be produced, it’s the jobs and casting that draw the attention of a city’s artists and creatives. As to the issue of gender equity in role opportunities – 2011 is not a good year for female actors in Brisbane.

The 2011 mainstage season plays for both Brisbane subsidised companies have more male roles – considerably more – than female. Whilst employment in a mainstage production is not the whole picture for a professional theatre actor – there are other job opportunities in the sector from play readings, teaching, touring in educational programs and from non-award waged engagement in various independent projects in the city – there is no doubt that a contract for a show produced by QTC or La Boite is highly prized. Gender-blind casting notwithstanding, it became clear early on that there were going to be far more jobs for the boys this year at QTC and La Boite. Continue reading Jobs for the girls? Logging the stats

Season 2011: Who are the writers?

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures

This is the third in the series so far investigating some facts and figures on the 2011 seasons from Queensland Theatre Company and La Boite Theatre Company.

The two previous posts were Where do the writers come from? and When do the writers come from? (historical origins). There are links to these articles below.

This post looks at who is doing the writing, and does a break down on the gender composition of the writers and authorial teams, for teams they are in some cases. There are works written by a solo author, there are co-written pieces, as well as adaptations and translations.  In a couple of instances (I Feel Awful by Black Lung for Queensland Theatre Company and The Danger Ensemble’s Hamlet Apocalypse for La Boite Indie) there appear to be no author credit as such.  However there are 5 (Black Lung) and 13 (The Hamlet Apocalypse) creators/ensemble members listed under these productions. All up, this season provides a creatively rich mix of new work.

Whilst some might object to my use of the descriptor ‘Original Works’ to separate plays out from Adaptations, I know of no other to do the job as well. I apologise to any who take offence, especially to adaptors whose works are, of course, original in their own right as adaptations. In any case, most adaptors freely acknowledge a source text as their stimulus. My interest here is solely to sketch out as much detail as possible in analysis of the seasonal offerings by play type and origin.

Queensland Theatre Company
Original Works – author credited and/or created via ensemble: 11
Adaptations and/or Translations from original works: 2 (SacréBleu; Treasure Island)

La Boite Theatre Company
Original Works – author credited and/or created via ensemble: 9
Adaptations and/or Translations from original works: 1 (The Gruffalo’s Child)

As to the breakdown of the authorial teams by gender here are the figures for the total number of credited individual authors, adaptors and translators of all plays in the season.

Queensland Theatre Company: 22M; 1F
La Boite Theatre Company: 14M; 11F

FYI, 8 of the 11 women credited for La Boite’s season are members of The Danger Ensemble’s listed creative team for The Hamlet Apocalypse.

So, who are the writers? White guys, dead and alive.

Attention turns next to the directors in Season 2011.

When do the writers come from?

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures
List of titles of works based on Shakespearean...
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The last post looked at the origin of plays by writer in Season 2011 for Queensland Theatre Company and La Boite Theatre. When all details are available, there will be a future post addressing the gender break-down of the authorial teams. Meanwhile, this post follows up by assigning the plays under consideration to a matrix which lays out the historical era which first produced the work in question.

A quick word at the outset. The division is one I used in a couple of earlier posts elsewhere which investigated the repertoire of Queensland Theatre Company during the first 10 years of its existence and in the 10 years preceding its 40th anniversary year in 2009-10. The breakdown is fair enough – although I grant a little arbitrary in that, for example, Chekhov’s plays go into the Early Modern era when they actually span the late 19th and early 20th century. I know, too, that historians would probably quibble with the era that I call ‘Early Modern‘ but, overall, this matrix works for me. In any case, you have to start somewhere, i.e., with a marker for comparative purposes. Here are the eras I use:

  • Classical: pre-Shakespeare;
  • Early Modern: post-Shakespeare to end of 19th century;
  • 20th & 21st century: 1901-2005;
  • Contemporary: a play produced within 5 years of its publication and/or completion. Right now, this means a work in this year’s season which was published or completed between 2006 and 2011.

Queensland Theatre Company

Typical of previous QTC seasons in that it features plays from nearly all historical eras – there are no classical works on offer – Season 2011 is also typical of this Company’s programming in years 2000-2009 with a pronounced emphasis on contemporary works, other 21st century and 20th century plays.

La Boite Theatre Company

La Boite’s commitment to contemporary work couldn’t be clearer. That 10% early-modern slice of the pie in the chart above represents one production, Julius Caesar which, judging by the promotional poster image, is going to get a very contemporary spin. There are no classical works and no 20th century plays in Season 2011 for this company.

2011 Season. Origin of Play by Historical Era – Comparison Queensland Theatre Company: La Boite Theatre Company

From this comparative chart, it looks as if Brisbane theatre goers are in for a year of the very new on the stages of both subsidised companies. Is this breakthrough i.e., trendsetting programming across the board? Assign your own qualifier. I think exciting and maybe even dangerous – it’s audacious stuff to be sure. Many will say ‘About time.’

It looks as if the really old and some of the not-all-that-old dead white guys are on the way out, perhaps to be replaced with living white guys? Which brings us to the subject matter of that future post mentioned above i.e., the gender breakdown of all authors in Season 2011 for both Queensland Theatre Company and La Boite Theatre Company. Probably no surprises for anyone, but we shall see what the numbers reveal.

Thanks for reading this far. Hope you are finding it useful.

Meanwhile, here’s something out of the archives. I stumbled over it doing some free-form searching online.  You might be interested in this post from Sean Mee in 2007 The Future of La Boite Theatre Company. As you probably know, Sean was the former Artistic Director of La Boite.

Where do the writers come from?

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures

As promised in the last post, here are the first of some stats as they relate to the 2011 programmed seasons of both Brisbane’s subsidised, professional theatre companies. This post is the first in a series for Greenroom’s readers, and forms part of my ongoing research into professional theatre in Queensland. I have used data relating to both company’s programmed works as it appears in published brochures or online: mainstage, education, studio, and ‘indie’ presenting partnerships. This work picks up on some research I did last year which related to the first 10 and the last 10 years of the repertoire for Queensland Theatre Company. You can check that out here and here on my personal blog. From this year I’ve included La Boite’s programming under current AD David Berthold.

Continue reading Where do the writers come from?