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As of March 2022

For the organization’s Fiscal Year 21 (aka FY21, dates spanning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021), the Demographic Data Squad endeavored to capture an expansive snapshot of the full Playwrights Horizons community.

In the winter of 2020, after soliciting feedback on our demographic survey from nine compensated artists, our team finalized an optional form consisting of eleven questions, designed to invite participants to self-identify and share information about the following categories: age, racial identity, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. You can see a copy of this survey here.

In June of 2021, we shared our survey with the complete full-time staff (35 members) and Board (30 members). The full-time staff response rate was 91% (32/35). The Board response rate was 53% (16/30).

Throughout FY21, staff members also collected the names and email addresses of all who were involved with Playwrights Horizons, including part-time staff, Playwrights Horizons Theater School faculty and mentors, GenerationPH Leadership Committee members (our young donor program), Fellows, artists across all programs (including season productions, new play development, commissions, Soundstage, Almanac, Perspectives On Playwriting, and Lighthouse), and other vendors. In July of 2021, a collection of PH staff members reached out via email to everyone on this list and invited them to complete the survey.

Our response rate for the full list (totaling 360 contacts, including full-time staff and Board alongside everyone else) was just 34% (124/360). We acknowledge that representation of this data would appear incomplete - it wouldn’t be possible to draw any meaningful conclusions about the demographic makeup of our larger community. 

In December of 2021, we decided to focus on collecting another round of demographic data - this time solely focusing on the “in house” populations of full-time staff, Board, and the GenerationPH Leadership Committee. For the December survey, we were able to achieve a 95% response rate from staff (38/40), and to increase the Board response rate to 85% (28/33). The GenerationPH response rate was 64% (9/14). Because our response rates for the first two groups were robust, information about both the full-time staff and Board, as of Dec 2021, is rendered below. We haven’t given up on collecting data for additional community members, including artists - ultimately we still hope to gather this information on an annual basis. 

When rendering the responses we received into visual graphics, we decided to split the weight of each response evenly into as many categories as the respondent had selected. This method achieved our goal of representing demographic groups while protecting individual anonymity.

The collection of demographic data has been a learning experience. We’ve done our best to craft a process that is rooted in care for members of our community, while striving for accuracy. Our goal is to strike a balance that will be sustainable for Playwrights Horizons staff members to execute moving forward. We agree that if we are to continue to capture and communicate demographic data in the future, self-identification will remain the means whereby we collect this information, and that the form must remain optional and anonymous for all members of our community. We have made a conscious choice to prioritize anonymity over response rate; if we were able to track who responded, we could better follow up with non-responders, but we realize that privacy is a high priority to our community and we must respect anonymity first and foremost. Our hope is that over time our response rates will increase.

We want to extend special thanks to Ashley Chang, a founding member of the Demographic Data Squad, and to Pun Bandhu and AAPAC for their ongoing work in this sphere and advice on our data collection process. 

The PH Demographic Data Squad
Susan Ferziger, Katasha Nelson, Karl Baker Olson, Aydan Shahd, and May Treuhaft-Ali


As of a Survey from December 2021:






BOARD: December 2021