The BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, led by Northern Stage Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne, and supported by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, offers major support of artistic initiatives focused on women+ artists and creates a formal mentorship program to train and prepare future women artistic directors to lead, create, innovate, and deepen the impact of theater on the American culture. Along with a $225,000 grant for each theater, the BOLD Circle provides leadership resources for women artistic directors and networking opportunities in semiannual meetings. It also provides for a woman+ Associate Director position designed to train the artistic directors of the future.
The BOLD Circle was created to address the small percentage of women artistic directors in the American theater. A recent study by Wellesley Centers for Women, commissioned by American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff and former Executive Director Ellen Richard, revealed that women hold only 20% of artistic leadership positions in the American regional theater, and that the dearth of female theater leaders is not due to a lack of candidates but rather to a clearly observed glass ceiling preventing women from assuming the artistic helm of professional theaters.