Ever heard of SWAN Day?  Well, you have now.

Support Women Artists Now.  Radical idea, right?

Maybe you routinely support the arts, but you’re wondering why on earth women artists need their own day.

More than 80% of the plays produced in America are written by men.  At least 70% of the roles on Broadway are men’s.  Most artistic directors are men, most literary managers are men, most working stage directors are men, most heads of university theater departments are men – maybe this isn’t why most produced plays are by men, but these statistics made me think about white cars (oh no, you say, another digression! but stick with me a minute and it’ll all make sense).

Some years ago, the city I lived in had a majority of white cars on the roads.  I asked a car dealer why most of the cars on his lot were white and he said, because that’s what people want.  I asked if most people ordered their cars or bought what was readily available and he said they usually bought what was on the lot.  So I asked if maybe people bought white cars not because they preferred white, but because that’s what was on offer.  He said I could order a color-car, it would take an extra week or two, and I said I didn’t want to wait and he said, then you want a white car!  See!  People prefer white cars!

WomenArts thought long and hard about those statistics – not the cars, the ones about theaters and plays.  Five years ago, WomenArts founded SWAN Day, an international holiday designed to showcase the power and diversity of women’s creativity.  So far, SWAN Day has been celebrated in 23 countries with more than 900 events, and women in theater have made more than modest gains.  However, the inequalities still exist.  By supporting SWAN Day CLE – 2013, you’ll be empowering women to continue striving for parity in the theater world.

SWAN Day CLE – 2013 will be staging readings of short plays by and about women, to raise awareness and celebrate women playwrights, directors, and actors. Ticket revenues and fundraising proceeds will directly support the artists and the theaters hosting the celebrations, and will seed future years’ celebrations of the holiday.

When does all this happen, you ask?  SWAN Day is the last Saturday of every year’s Women’s History Month (March), so the SWAN Day CLE – 2013 celebrations will occur on Saturday, March 30th.

Celebrations – plural?!  For Cleveland’s inaugural observance of the Day?  You betcha.  The terrific folks at Ensemble Theatre and Convergence Continuum at the Limnis will host staged readings of new or slightly-used short plays specifically selected for this event – matinée at the Limnis and evening show at Ensemble.

Mark your calendars!  Celebrate women theater artists here in the 4′-largest-theater-producing area in the USA – or wherever you are.  Need to find a celebration in your town?  Look here.  Want the CLE call for submissions?  Follow this link.




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