Counting Actors Project: February Stats

Counting actors banner1The 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.

WomenArts is partnering with The Counting Actors Project to compile a report that will examine cumulative data collected from the first 500 shows.

The report will be released as part of this year’s international celebration of Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day on Saturday 3/28 from 3-5:30pm at Ashby Stage. This event is co-produced by WomenArts, Playground, and Symmetry Theatre and will showcase short plays by local female playwrights, key findings from the Counting Actors report, and discussion about ways to achieve gender parity in our community. Admission is free, but space is limited. Reservations through Brown Paper Tickets are highly recommended.

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.

Works by Women San Francisco and WomenArts will both feature report highlights as well as a link to the full report on their websites after the 3/28 release.

February’s count includes 12 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 550 shows. Here are the stats:

Feb StatsPlaywrights = 12; 5 women and 7 men.
Directors = 13; 8 women and 5 men.
Union Actors = 23; 11 women and 12 men.
Non-Union Actors = 60; 30 women and 30 men.
Total Actors = 83: 41 women and 42 men; 23 Union and 60 Non Union; 79 Local and 4 Non-Local.

Shows included in the February count:

  • Harbor(New Conservatory Theatere Center)
  • The Book Club Play (Center REP)
  • The Lyons (Aurora Theatre Company)
  • Three Sisters (Douglas Morrison Theatre)
  • We are Proud to Present… (Just Theater)
  • The Balcony (Collected Works)
  • How the World Began (Custom Made Theater Company)
  • A Lie of the Mind (Magic Theat43)
  • Venus in Fur (San Jose Stage Company)
  • Antigone (Cutting Ball Theater), Note: two male actors who are video only are not included in this count
  • Enemies: Foreign and Domestic (Central Works)
  • Crooked (Virago Theatre Company)

A hearty thank you to the audience members , cast members, and theater administrators who took a few minutes to send an email with show info, including Karen Thomson Hall, Matt Weimer, Tiiu Eva Rebane, Sofia Ahmad, Sylvia Kratins, and Anne Hallinan.

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

Statistics for March will go up between April 1st and April 5th.

8 responses to “Counting Actors Project: February Stats

    • agreed Pat! It seems like early spring often shows better numbers for women – I’ve wondered if this has anything to do with Women’s history month (March) programming….

      • Hi! this is a really great project & thanks for putting so much work into it! I am wondering if you ever break it down by age group at all? thanks.

  1. Hi- this is a really great project & thanks for putting so much work into it! I am wondering if you ever break it down by age group at all? thanks.

  2. have never broken things down by age group – the submission of show statistics often comes from people working on the production but also comes from audience members. I would feel uncomfortable asking people who’ve seen a show to guess the ages of the artists involved, and it would take more research than this volunteer project is capable of to verify ages. thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Thanks for replying. As an actress I was interested to know of particular numbers regarding certain age groups in hiring women in theatre roles. I wouldn’t want to know if anyone was guessing how old someone might be of course. That’t not really important to me or many others I should imagine. But in terms of roles offered and cast, I was thinking more along the lines of say “40-50” or “over 60” for eg. – ballpark ranges in that sense, which to many actresses involved in theatre is of prime interest as far as how many roles are on offer in groups like that. Thanks again for all you do.

  3. I will, with much interest look at those links. However, I remain much more interested in what theatres in my own arena, rather than in other countries, are actually accomplishing in this area. Though am always curious as to what is happening in theatre throughout the world. Thanks again.

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