The underrepresentation of women playwrights is a well-known and documented fact, and it increases exponentially when it comes to Indigenous women, women of colour, two-spirit, trans, and non-binary artists. Frequently, ADs, producers, and educators state that they do not produce shows by women, trans, or non-binary people simply because they do not know of any good plays by them. SureFire is a community-generated resource intended to help alleviate that problem, and it complements other like-minded initiatives, such as The Pledge Project and The 49 List.
For our first Canadian rendition, we contacted over two hundred theatre aficionados (“Recommenders”) all across the nation, who were nominated by PGC’s Staff, Women’s Caucus Committee, and National Forum (Regional) Reps. The individual identities of the Recommenders are confidential, as are their chosen play picks, but the majority work in the industry as administrators, artistic directors, critics, dramaturges, educators, and/or practitioners. The 2018 Recommenders were asked to send PGC their top three “passion-picks” for under- or un-produced plays by Canadian women, trans-femme, and/or non-binary playwrights. We gathered the results, ranked the findings, and created SureFire to provide the community with a useful resource to help identify remarkable, production-ready plays by Canadian women.
Comprised of 23 plays, the SureFire 2018 is impressive for its diversity (not only in terms of racialization, age, region, and so forth, but also for aesthetic style), and we hope it will be picked-up, shared, read, discussed, and implemented far and wide.
For our second rendition, over three hundred theatre experts (“Recommenders”) across the country were asked to send in their top three “passion-picks” or favourite full-length plays by women, trans, and/or gender non-conforming creators, if the works had one professional production, or none, and so long as they were not part of SureFire 2018. PGC collected the submissions, tabulated the findings, and used the results to create SureFire 2020, a community-generated resource identifying remarkable, production-ready plays by Canadian women, trans creators, and non-binary artists.
Comprised of 24 plays and three honourable mentions, SureFire 2020 features an exciting roster of dramatic writing notable for its plurality and diverse range of aesthetic styles. We hope that SureFire 2020 will be picked-up, shared, read, discussed, and implemented far and wide to help offset industry imbalances.