Archive for October 23rd, 2008

Roles for Women on Stage & Screen

23rd October 2008

The results of a recent Europe-wide survey of female actors — as reported in The Stage — may be of interest to writers.

The results showed that:

79% of female performers consider their gender puts them at a disadvantage in relation to the number of roles on offer, while 73% feel their sex works against them in terms of role variety.

By contrast, 74% of male performers feel their gender is an advantage in relation to the number of roles available and 70% feel being male helps in terms of variety of roles.

Equity vice-president Jean Rogers, who was behind the formation of the survey, said the findings would be taken to governments across Europe in a bid to change the perception of women, claiming how women are portrayed on television and stage can impact on the way they are treated in society.

“We are finding in so many areas – not just where women are concerned – society is not being properly represented in the media,” said Rogers. “It is getting very selective and it has such an impact on values and people’s perceptions – even if they don’t consciously realise it. If they only see people of a certain kind, that’s what they think is the norm.” …

Although its exact findings have yet to be finalised, its initial conclusions suggest men enjoy longer careers in television, film and theatre, with 71% of the 71-80 age group bracket being male.

Respondents were asked to state whether they felt age and gender is represented in a realistically varied way across all mediums. Although the majority of women said television is not realistic in its portrayal, theatre fared better, with 51% of female respondents claiming the medium does realistically portray age, compared with 75% of male participators.

The survey found that 57% of women feel theatre also represents gender in a realistically varied way, compared with 85% of men.