This is the fourth month that Works by Women San Francisco has hosted the Counting Actors Project, created and managed by Bay Area actor Valerie Weak. This project began in June 2011 and the archive of past posts can be found here but will shortly be migrated to the WWSF site. For those who have followed this project from the SF Bay Area Actor blog, thanks for making the journey. Our hope is that by moving to the WWSF blog the project will have a wider reach and lead to even more conversation about issues of representation in Bay Area theater.
For general information about the project including selection criteria and info about how to submit a show for inclusion in the project, please go here. With this post, the Counting Actors Project is 3 years old, so a huge thank you to all who have read posts, shared show info, talked to their peers and colleagues about this info and generally supported the project in so many different ways.
With three years of data collection, look for additional posts this summer that slice this data different ways – breaking it all down by when the plays were written, looking at trends in men and women working based on type of Equity contract a theater uses, and more. What questions or trends would you like to see explored via the Counting Actors data? Use the comments below to make suggestions.
May’s count includes 16 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 423 shows. Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 29; 9 women and 20 men. Directors = 25; 9 women and 16 men. Union Actors = 36; 13 women and 23 men. Non-Union Actors = 78; 36 women and 42 men. Total Actors = 114; 49 women and 65 men; 36 Union and 78 Non Union; 105 Local and 9 Non-Local. Shows included in the May count:
- never fall so heavily again (BrickaBrack Productions), Note: director and writer are same person
- Real Housewives of Walnut Creek the Musical (Center REP) Note: one female writer for books, lyric and music; male director, female music director (also the writer and one of the performers!)
- Seminar (SF Playhouse) Note: production also has 3 understudies not included in this count – 1 male AEA, 1 male non-union, 1 female non-union
- The Crazed (Central Works)
- The Big Meal (San Jose Rep)
- Communique no 10 (Cutting Ball Theater) Note: script is translated from French by director
- The Homosexuals (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
- The Fifth String (Golden Thread Productions) Note: male composer, female book writer, male music director, female director. Music Director is also composer and director is also writer. 2 additional male musicians not credited here
- Best of Playground 2014 (Playground) Note: multiple short pieces, 3 male directors, 3 female directors, 5 male writers and 3 female writers, includes Gershwins as writers of lyrics/music for short musical piece
- The Letters (Aurora Theatre Company) Note: first show in Aurora’s 2nd space
- Rat Girl (DIVAFest) Note: female director, male music director; adapted from source material by female writer (Kristen Hersh memoir) and includes music by Hersh and Throwing Muses performed by cast; 7 additional actors are credited with recorded voiceover work (3w, 4m) and not included in this count
- Fences (Marin Theatre Company) Note: 2 girl actors alternate in role of Raynell and are both included; male understudy listed in program not included in this count
- An Illiad (San Jose Stage Company) Note: 2 co-adaptors credited as writers here – 1 male 1 female
- August: Osage County (Contra Costa Civic Theatre) Note: this company is offering stipends for the first time in 13-14 season
- The Suit (ACT) Note: 3 performers credited as musicians in this show are included in the actor count as they also play smaller roles in the piece and do some singing; no understudies listed for this production; counted in writer are 1 female (translator/adapter), and 2 male (composer, and director/adapter, who is also counted as director)
- Du Barry Was A Lady (42nd St Moon) Note: male director and male music director; music/lyrics male, book 2 male team for total of 3 writers
Thank you very much to the actors, theater staff and audience members who shared show info with the project this month, including Michele Leavy, Patricia Milton, Tiiu Eva Rebane, Carina Salazar, Jessica Lynn Carroll, Susan Shay, Matt Weimer, Karen Thomson Hall and Megan Killian Uttam. If you’re working on a show or seeing a show with performances in June, go here to learn how to share show info with the project via email. Less than 5 minutes of your time! Statistics for June will go up between July 1st and July 5th.