Counting Actors Project – December Statistics

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The Counting Actors Project is managed by Bay Area actor Valerie Weak, and began in June 2011 on her own blog. Works by Women San Francisco began hosting the project in February 2014. The archive of all past posts can be found here.

General information about the project, as well as selection criteria for shows and a show submission form are here.



December’s count includes 15 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 527 shows. Here are the stats:

Playwrights = 27; 5 women and 22 men.

Directors = 21; 5 women and 16 men.

Union Actors = 29; 8 women and 21 men.

Non-Union Actors = 142; 76 women and 66 men.

Total Actors = 171; 84 women and 87 men; 29 Union and 142 Non Union; 167 Local and 4 Non-Local.

Shows included in the December count:

  • In Quest (Faultline Theater)
  • Old Times (Anton’s Well)
  • Faulted (Foolsfury)
  • Something for the Boys (42nd Street Moon), Note: male director, male music director, male music/lyrics writer book by male/female team.
  • The Two Trains (Off Broadway West)
  • Superheroes (Cutting Ball)
  • Promises, Promises (SF Playhouse), Note: male director, male music director, male book writer, male music/lyrics writer
  • Red Hot Patriot (Berkeley Rep), Note: co-written by 2 women who are twin sisters
  • Our Town (Shotgun Players)
  • Mary Poppins (Berkeley Playhouse), Note: Female Director and music director; 5 writers, all male – 1 book, 2 original music/lyrics, 2 more additional music/lyrics; cast includes both 21 paid adults and 22 double cast children/students – all kids are counted here.
  • Cinderella (African-American Shakespeare Festival), Note: author listed as ‘African American Shakespeare Festival’ so no gender recorded for playwright
  • The Complete Works of Comedy, Abridged (Marin Theatre` Company)
  • James and the Giant Peach (Bay Area Children’s Theater), Note: female director, male music director, 1 male writer for book, 2 male writer team for music/lyrics
  • Truce (City Lights Theater)
  • Peter and the Starcatcher (TheatreWorks), Note: 2 male writers credited as script and music; male director, male music director

Thank you so much to the cast members, audience members, and theater staff who shared statistics this month, including Lisa Mallette, Matt Weimer, Sasha Hnatkovich, Terry Bamberger, Martha Richards, Molly Noble, Michael Barrett Austin, Tiiu Eva Rebane, Megan Cohen, Sabrina Wenske, and Robert Estes.

Please share these numbers and use them to start conversations, whether that’s on social media, in the green room or at an upcoming board meeting. If you’re seeing or working on a show with January performances, go here to learn how to share the info with the project. It takes 5 minutes!

As announced with last month’s report, WomenArts will partner with the Counting Actors Project to compile a report that will examine cumulative data on the first 500 shows.

The report will be released on March 28, 2015 as part of this year’s international celebration of Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day.   WomenArts is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the visibility and employment of women artists in all art forms. As part of its mission, WomenArts maintains a Women’s Employment in the Arts webpage, which has links to studies of women’s employment in various art forms.

Statistics for January will go up between February 1st and February 5th.


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