Since the beginning of live theater, women have gotten a raw deal. For an embarrassingly long time, from the ancient Greek to the English Renaissance period, women couldn't even take the stage to play women. Cross-dressing men took those roles --a tradition that continues today in Japanese Kabuki theater.
Recent studies have suggested that despite its myriad punctures, a theatrical glass ceiling remains intact. A study in U.K.'s The Guardian that exhaustively surveyed the 2012-13 English theater season found a persistent two-to-one male-to-female ratio, from the actors onstage to the playwrights commissioned to the executives in charge. Narrowing its focus strictly to playwriting, the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative found in a 2011 study that just one in five plays produced on Los Angeles-area stages was written by a woman. Similar numbers appeared two years earlier in a town hall discussion at the playwriting hub New Dramatists in New York.