Pledge – A Production Listing to Enhance Diversity and Gender Equity

Our Mission

PLEDGE’s goal is to increase the number of plays by women, two-spirit, trans, and non-binary creators produced by post-secondary theatre training programs in Canada.

Multiple studies show that women are underrepresented in positions of power in Canadian theatre, and they suggest theatre training and education is a crucial place to correct the imbalance (Fraticelli 1982; Burton 2006; MacArthur 2015). A 2016 study of Canadian post-secondary productions found that only 18% of the mainstage plays were written by women; a number even lower than the industry norm (Hanson and Elser 2016). That statistic plummets further yet for Indigenous women, women of colour, women with disabilities, and two-spirit, trans, and non-binary creators.

To help combat this problem, the PLEDGE website provides a resource to help educators (and others) address imbalances on our stages. Though achieving gender equity is our main goal, we aim to help improve the overall diversity of voices reflected in Canadian theatre education, and by extension, in society. We also hope it will be of service to theatre organizations, community groups, and artists.

Our searchable database lists plays written by Canadian women, two-spirit, trans, and non-binary creators with a cast size of six or more performers. This criteria is key because plays produced at schools usually need large cast plays given the number of students involved.

PLEDGE is ever evolving and growing over time. We accept new additions and invite corrections.

Do you have questions about Pledge? If so, please get in touch with us through our contact page. To make a large cast play submission written by a Canadian woman, two-spirit, trans, or non-binary creator, please fill our this form and submit your work here.

Our Team

Project Leads:
Rebecca Burton, Playwrights Guild of Canada
Barry Freeman, University of Toronto Scarborough

Current Researchers:
Madeline Rossell, Sheridan College
Brenda Martinez, University of Toronto Scarborough

Site Design: Mariel Marshall

Past Project Coordinators and Researchers:
Lisa Aikman; Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies; U of T (Researcher)

Idil Djafer; Playwrights Guild of Canada (Project Coordinator)

Alexa Elser; Department of Drama; University of Lethbridge Grad (Project Coordinator)

Grace Phan; Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies; U of T Scarborough (Researcher)

Collette Radau; School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design; York U (Researcher)

Sarah Robbins; Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies; U of T (Researcher)

John Rowntree, Theatre and Performance Studies; U of T Scarborough (Researcher)

The PLEDGE Project is supported by the Equity and Diversity in the Arts Initiative in the Department of Arts, Culture & Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and by Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC).