Why am I Counting Actors?

So my Counting Actors Project has gotten some notice recently.  (Here and here are a few of the bigger ones). And new people are reporting in. I’m really excited to see how much I’m getting for the August list. I want to thank everyone who is helping to spread the word about the project, and everyone who is contributing a count of a show they’ve seen or participated in.

But also, people have been wishing me well as I work on my “report” or hoping that I have good luck with my “study”.   In my mind this isn’t either of those things.  I’m just counting and collecting.

Why am I counting actors (and directors and writers)?  Because I couldn’t find anyone else who was.  Equity isn’t.  Theatre Bay Area isn’t.  None of the local companies are (or maybe they are, but not publicly). If you’re at a party or social event with other artists, it seems like someone eventually mentions something like “all the good roles go to people from out of town.” Or “no one hires a woman to direct.” Or “the only plays with roles for women in them are by women writers.” Or something else.  But no one has the numbers to back things up.  They aren’t out there.

So, with your help, I’m counting what I can.  I’m making totals.  Monthly ones for now, but I’m planning to put it together when I get to 6 months and then to a year.  I can only hope that someone will use this data for a report or a study or to advocate for change in some way.

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