Honor Roll: An action and advocacy group of women+ playwrights over 40

About Us


is a grass-roots group whose members self-initiate actions to increase our inclusion in theater. We are an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over 40 as well as our women+ over 40 allies. The term “women+” refers to a spectrum of gender identification that includes women, non-binary identifiers and trans. Honor Roll! exists to encourage members to create change.

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As an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over 40 and our allies, Honor Roll pursues a goal of inclusion in theater.

Honor Roll! was ignited by our shared recognition of the pervasive yet seldom acknowledged bias against women+ playwrights over 40. Our members have in common the lived experience of being overlooked when we were younger, due to sexism only to find ourselves now being passed over, due to ageism, or in other cases, of starting our playwriting journeys later in life because of the inherent disincentives and social responsibilities that often fall to women+.

We also recognize the intersectionality of ageism and that it is an additional burden for women+ of color, transfolx, disabled women+, indigenous women+, the economically pressured and others facing marginalization in our society. Honor Roll! actively seeks diversity in its membership, and works to increase opportunity for all women+ playwrights over 40.

Our Mission Statement is as follows:

HONOR ROLL! is an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over forty - and our women+ over 40 allies - whose goal is our inclusion in theater. We are the generation excluded at the outset of our careers because of sexism, now overlooked because of ageism. We celebrate diversity in theater and work to eliminate age discrimination as it intersects with sexism and other biases including those based on race, gender identity, ethnicity, faith, socioeconomic status, disability, and sexual orientation in the American Theater and beyond.

Executive Committee

Honor Roll is dependent upon self-initiated actions. An Executive Committee coordinates events and activities. EC Members in 2024: Peppur Chambers, Cynthia L. Cooper, Cheryl Davis, Olga Humphrey, Jacqueline Reingold, Bayla Travis and Diana Yanez. (Former members: Yvette Heyliger, Sarah Tuft, Lucy Wang.)

Read: How Female Playwrights Are Making the Industry Better by Cara Joy David, Broadway World (w/Cheryl Davis)

Read: Broadway World:  recognize those advancing women+ playwrights over 40. Update: Winners here!

Read: Honor Roll! ... We Got This by Yvette Heyliger on The Dramatist Blog

Read: We’ll Call You (Unless You’re a Woman Over 40) Dramatists Guild Blog, S. Cal

Read: Sure, resolve to stage more plays by women. It still won’t make up for all we’ve lost by Sarah Schulman

Online: Female playwrights leadership must change KCRW

Read: Female Writers Fight Sageism (Sexism/Racism) with Honor Roll! by Kate Schwartz

Listen: TalkBack, Dramatists Guild: Access At Any Age

Listen: The Women of Honor Roll ! On-Off Stage Podcast

Listen: Hey Playwright, She Persisted

Listen: On-Off Stage Podcast More!

Read: The Workshop Theater to Host Honor Roll! At Their Winter 2022 Workshop Intensive

Watch: A conversation with theater agent Beth Blickers

Read: Broadway World: Honor Roll Honors! will recognize those advancing women+ playwrights over 40. Update: Winners here!

Watch: Defying Ageism Ashton Applewhite with Nancy Giles

Watch: Artist as Activist: The Power of Personal Story, by Yvette Heyliger (access ends 3.32-23)

Watch: Self-Producing, Honor Roll Panel. Request viewing access HonorRollMembers@gmail.com

Listen: Woman Worthy Podcast on Ageism, Sexism, Theatre with Yvette Heyliger

Read: Axial Theatre creates a partnership with Honor Roll for development inclusion.

Read: Broadway World: Honor Roll! HONORS names awardees for 2023; program is the second year of recognition awards for those advancing women+ playwrights over 40.

Read: American Theatre Magazine recognizes Honor Roll HONORS!

Workshop Theatre Hosts Honor Roll in Spring Intensive!

Honor Roll receives an Award from The Lillys, and Executive Committee Member Jacqueline Reingold is recognized as an outstanding playwright.

Press Release:SHE PERSISTED Books



Oct 2020: Victory. We decried virtual Broadway plays with all male, mosty white, writers. The producers announced 4 plays by women.

July 2022 and 2023: Honor Roll Honors developed by Marjorie Bicknell honors women

Oct 2022: Victory: New plays program creates a special category from Honor Roll member submissions

Nov 2023: Lilly Awards recognize Honor Roll contributions and award executive member Jackie Reingold


Joining HONOR ROLL! is the single most important thing that I have done for myself in years. The organization offers opportunities, shares resources, and provides support to womxn playwrights 40+ and our 40+ allies. As a member, I have also made numerous friends, received recommendations for my plays on NPX, and taken advantage of the submission calls and any number of other calls to action. ~ ~ ~ Rita A.


Contact Us

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenplaywrights40/

Twitter @HonorRollWrites

Instagram: @honor_roll_playwrights

Tumblr: https://honorrollplaywrights.tumblr.com/

Or reach out via email: HonorRollMembers@gmail.com





This page was initiated by and is maintained by Cindy Cooper for Honor Roll. cyncooperwrtr@gmail.com