A production of Antigone currently touring the United States has caught the attention of an Economist writer, who uses it as a springboard for comments on women’s roles in classical Greek tragedy and, briefly, in present-day American film. According to a recent report, which is quoted and linked in the post, “women comprised only 12% of lead roles in 2014’s top-grossing films (a drop of 4 percentage points since 2002), and make up less than a third of all speaking characters.” A sign, if any were needed, that Hollywood is not the new Athens.
The post says nothing about the proportion of roles allocated to women in American theater, for which statistics may be harder to come by. One wonders whether Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for nonprofit theaters, has data on such things. TCG does report the representation of women among the most-produced playwrights, which, for the 2015–16 season, is only four out of the top 20.