This is the fifth 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 the project to the WWSF blog it 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.
June’s count includes 18 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 441 shows. Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 30; 9 women and 21 men.
Directors = 21; 7 women and 14 men.
Union Actors = 45; 20 women and 25 men.
Non-Union Actors = 101; 46 women and 55 men.
Total Actors = 146; 66 women and 80 men; 45 Union and 101 Non Union; 133 Local and 13 Non-Local.
Shows included in the June count:
- Comedy of Errors (California Shakespeare Theater)
- 36 Stories (Word for Word) Note: while author is Sam Shepard, these are his short stories, arranged by the director. One character written as male in the stories is played by a female actor as a female character.
- Daylighting (Shotgun Players)
- The Weir (Shelton Theater)
- The Crucible (Custom Made)
- Walk Like a Man (Theatre Rhino) Note: adapted by the author from her novel; all characters portrayed are women – several genderqueer/non-conforming
- American Buffalo (Aurora Theatre Company)
- 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Center REP) Note: male director and male music director, 2 male writers, 2 female writers male writers are music/lyrics and additional material, female writers are book and concept
- Maestro (Berkeley Rep)
- The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Berkeley Rep)
- Pansy (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
- Brahman/i(Crowded Fire Theater) Note: main character, played by male actor, is ‘hijra’ or transgender
- Failure: A Love Story (Marin Theatre Company)
- Mutt (Ferocious Lotus & Impact Theatre)
- South Pacific (Mountain Play) Note: female director and music director, 2 male writers are 1 book/lyrics 1 music
- Sheherazade 14 (Wily West Productions) Note: 2 directors 8 writers in this presentation of short plays – all actors played multiple roles
- This Lingering Life (Theatre of Yugen) Note: actors all played multiple roles; several males played female, 1 female played male.
- Devil Boys from Beyond (New Conservatory Theatre Center) Note: 3 men played women, 1 woman played male and 2 men played aliens from Pluto!
A huge thanks to the audience members, cast members and other artistic staff who continue to share stats via email (and those who’ve done so for the first time!). They include Anne Hallinan, Karen Thomson Hall, Brian Herndon, Kat Zdan, Matt Weimer, Marissa Skudlarek, Cat Luedtke, Susan Shay, Laylah Muran de Assereto and Lily Tung Crystal.
After reading this post, please talk to your friends and colleagues about this info, either in person or via social media. And please, if you’re seeing or working on a show with July performances, take a few minutes to share the data with the project. Go here to learn about project criteria and how to submit.
Statistics for July will go up between August 1st and August 5th.