top of page

#FringeFemmeTO and why we need more women in theatre

Can we get a "HELL YA!" to all the female directors, writers and creators at this year's Fringe Festival?!

Thank you to Alysa Pires, Polynomials, and Derrick Chua for counting the 81 shows at this year's Fringe Festival written, created, directed, and choreographed by over 138 women!

Why is it important that we keep track of this? Last year the Globe and Mail cited under 35% of women in key creative roles in Canadian theatre with only 22% of female playwrights with productions in the previous season. Women account for less than 25% of Canada's produced playwrights even thought they form half the membership of Playwrights Guild of Canada.

And while the female voice is under-represented, women still form the majority of theatre-school graduates, support workers and audience members. Women are not the ones in control of their stories.

This is why the #FringeFemmeTO list is important. And I am proud to say that "SExT" is ON THAT LIST!

Here are the women with key creative and production titles in our show:

From L top To R bottom:

Shira Taylor - Creator, Director, Writer (with the cast)

Nicole Buscema - Producer

Elena Juatco - Creative Facilitator & Music Director

Beth Beardsley - Stage Manager

Sarah Bruckschwaiger - Social Media Coordinator, Education Outreach Coordinator

Katy Littlejohn - Marketing Strategy and Design

Emma Wheaton - Assistant Director

Michelle Nyamekye - Assistant Stage Manager

Mary Getachew, Assistant Social Media Coordinator

Our cast of 13 has 8 women of which 7 are also of a visible minority. The cast has also created this show with Shira Taylor, meaning these women are also writers and choreographers.

I've been directed by two women in my theatre career. I am actively looking for more women to work with because I can tell the difference when there is no female voice in the rehearsal hall. I have been shut down in rehearsals for "thinking about it too much" when I asked a question and then reassured with "the purpose of your character is to serve [male character's name here]'s storyline." I've read scripts that have offended me as a woman, particularly as a woman of colour. I've also experienced sexual harassment at work because a male director wanted me to understand "who this woman is". There was not a single woman on the creative team when this happened and nobody else made a complaint except me. I felt alone and quite frankly, powerless.

WE NEED MORE FEMALE DIRECTORS. WRITERS. CREATORS. It is my goal to prioritize all the shows on the #FemmeTO list ... it should be yours too! So take a look at the list below (as compiled by Derrick Chua) and Happy Fringe-ing!

A Bitter Shrew (late addition, replaces Soul’s Retrograde on p. 21). By Gillian English

A Good Death (p. 18). By Shelley Hobbs

A Lover Improper (p. 62). By Arianne Shaffer

A Thousand Kindnesses (p. 18). By Rachel Jury

All KIDding Aside (p. 18). By Christel Bartelse

Alpha Delta 86 (p. 50). By Kiva Murphy and Filipa Mendes

Angels & Aliens (p. 60). Co-written by Sydney Hayduk

Asiansploitation: Be More Pacific (p. 58). Co-written by Tiffany Kwan, Ellie Posadas

Birthday Cake (p. 62). By Sarah Marchand

Bright Lights (p. 14). By Kat Sandler

Cam Baby (p. 66). By Jessica Moss

Candy & Shelley Go to the Desert (p. 52). By Paula Cizmar

Common Ground (p. 54). By Susan Magerman and Michelle Brightman

Curious Contagious (p. 66). By Chloe Ziner and Jessica Gabriel

Damn Tank (p. 66). Co-written by Maaor Ziv

Dance Animal: Toronto (p. 14). With monologues by Robin Henderson,Kat Letwin, AllisonPrice,Carol Zoccoli. Created and choreographed by Robin Henderson.

Dario et la Diablesse: A Caribbean Musical (p. 24). Written by Sasky Louison

Daughters of Feminists (p. 74). Created / songs by Barbara Johnston, Suzy Wilde,Anika Johnson, Nancy White

Denmarked (p. 50). Adapted by Carina Gaspar

Downtown Jay (p. 11). By Joan Jamieson

Eraser (p. 74). Co-written by Christol Bryan, Deanna Galati, Victoria Gubiani

Everything Else Is Sold Out (p. 54). Co-written by Claire Farmer,Jessica Greco,Shannon Lahaie

Evolution / Mr. Truth (p. 26). Evolution choreographed by Angela Blumberg. Mr. Truth written by Lauren Gillis and Alaine Hutton

Exterminating Angel (p. 24). Choreographed by Alysa Pires

Falling Awake (p. 18). Co-written by Nayana Fielkov

False Start (p. 52). By Nicole Hrgetic

Far Away (p. 60). By Caryl Churchill, choreographed by Patricia Allison

For the Record (p. 72). By Shari Hollett

Fractals (p. 62). By Krista White

Game 7 (p. 58). Co-written by Magdalena BB

Getting Odd (p. 68). By Holly Wyder and Allison Harris

God of Carnage (p. 55). By Yasmina Reza

Happiness™ (p. 61). Co-written by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau

How May I Mate You? (p. 61). By Jenna Naulls, Kelsey Wilkinson and Kelsey Johnston

I Want to Be (p. 11). Book by Alex Karolyi. Music & Lyrics co-written by Lisa Sonshine

In Gods We Trust (p. 24). Co-written by Satinder Besrai,Kerri Salata, with further material co-written by Diane Baker Mason

(in)decision (p. 26). Co-written by Tamlynn Bryson

lza the Brave (p. 11). Co-written by AmakaUmeh,Jada Rifkin, Micaela Comeau, Maiza Dubhé, Samantha Chaulk, Sarah Marchand

Knots (p. 67). Co-written by Lucy Meanwell

Life After (p. 61). By Britta Johnson

Like a Fly in Amber (p. 15). By Karen Kelm

Little Fires (p. 67). Choreographed by Karíssa Fyrrar,Lucy Rupert

Little Pricks (p. 54). By Denise Norman

Lyricas Presents: Creature Slaying... (p. 55). Co-written by Elisha DiFabio

Man & Son: Ladies First (p. 55). By Felicity Penman and Carolyn Williamson

#MannequinGirl: The Musical (p. 50). By Eliza BlueMusselwhite in collaboration with Alyssa Minichillo

My silly yum! (p. 11). By Alexandra Montagnese and Gabriela Petrov

Perk up, pianist! (p. 20). By Sarah Hagen

Persephone (p. 55). Co-collectively created by Claren Grosz,Jacklyn Francis, Laura Hayes, Sydney Herauf, Keshia Palm, Sheree Spencer

Pirates Don't Babysit! (p. 12). By Barb Scheffler

Plays In Cates (p. 73). Co-written by Alex Karolyi, Sheila Toller

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical (p. 26). By Jane Austen and Penny Ashton

Rated R (p. 26). Choreographed by Aria Evans

Saor (Free) (p. 19). By Carlyn Rhamey

#scarecrow (p. 59). By Chantel McDonald

Scenes from Plays I Never Wrote (p. 61). By Greta Papageorgiu

Self-Exile p. 21). By Nisha Coleman

SExT (p. 51). Created by Shira Taylor

Shecky's Yoga Sequel (p. 72). Co-written by Shana Sandler

Silk Bath (p. 15). Co-written by Bessie Chang,Gloria Mok

Songbuster ·An Improvised Musical (p. 27). Co-created by Stephanie Malek,Ashley Comeau,Tricia Black,Alexandra Hurley

That Joyce Girl (p. 67). By Kate Cattell-Daniels

The End (p. 51). By Miriam Drysdale

The Fence (p. 27). By Anika Johnson, Barbara Johnston,Suzy Wilde, choreographed by Honey Frid,Danielle Devereaux

The Funky Punckies (p. 12). By Stavria Thalassi & Katarina Lazic

The Stage Manager's Guide to Dating Assholes (p. 15). By Scarlett Larry

The Unending - 3 short plays (p. 73). Co-written by Julie Tepperman

To Jane With Love (p. 25). By Deon Denton

Tonight's Cancelled (p. 51). Co-written by Stacey McGunnigle

True Blue (late addition, replaces Mieux Vaut Mourir Heureux on page 59). Co-created / improvised by Amy Matysio,Aurora Browne,Paloma Nuñez,Shanda Bezic,Jocelyn Geddie

(un)boxed (p. 51). Created by Jannine Saarinen, featuring the work of Jen Hum, Lisa Quaning, Jamee Valin

Waiting For Waiting For Godot (p. 25). Co-written by Molly McGregor

Wasteland (p. 27). Co-written by Kaitlin Morrow

Water Wonders (p. 75). By Cheryl McNamara

We Are XX (p. 63). By Rafia Salam, Anne Vo and Samay Arcentales

What?! You're A Medium?! (p. 53). By Carolyn Molnar

Wild/Society (p. 15). By Mika Laulainen

Wireless Connection (p. 25). Choreographed by Amy Adams, Kylie Thompson

Women (p. 51). By Chiara Atik

YellowZoned (p. 63). By Alia Ettienne

"Ze". queer as f*ck! (p. 21). By Michelle Lunicke

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page