© 2024 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Iowa State University Promises Gender Parity In Theater Arts

Kyle Head
Only one-quarter of all plays performed in some Midwestern theater markets are written by women. Iowa State University wants to change this.

Theater has a problem. Only 30% of all plays performed nationwide last year were written by women, and that number is even lower in parts of the Midwest. Iowa State wants to change that.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Brad Dell, Director of Theatre at Iowa State University for a look at the upcoming “HERoic” theater season at ISU. For the first time ever, the university’s theater season will be made up of plays exclusively written by women as a celebration of the department’s commitment to the 5050 by 2020 movement. The movement, first started in Hollywood, aims for full gender parity in the arts by the year 2020. Dell and the department have promised to do the same at ISU.

ISU theater alum Kiah Kayser also joins the program. Kayser is a professional freelance scenic designer and has returned to Iowa State to design and oversee the set of the department’s upcoming musical, “Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure” as part of the initiative.

The HERoic season will go beyond the stage to include roundtable discussions and speakers focused on educating audiences and artists alike about the importance of gender inclusion in the theater world.   

Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa