Not Even: A Study of Gender Parity in Bay Area Theatre

NOT EVEN:  A Gender Analysis of 500 San Francisco/Bay Area Theatrical Productions 2011-2014 from The Counting Actors Project, written by Valerie Weak in collaboration with Martha Richards (Executive Director of WomenArts), and Christine Young (Associate Professor, University of San Francisco, and WWSF curator), was released at the WomenArts’ Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day Bay Area celebration on March 28, 2015.

Between June 2011 and November 2014, Valerie collected gender-related data on 500 shows produced in the nine county San Francisco/Bay Area that was submitted by audience members, actors, directors, stage managers, technical staff, and theatre administrators.  The report contains findings and trends resulting from an analysis of these shows.

In preparing the report, Valerie also surveyed 26 Artistic Directors, Associate Artistic Directors, Literary Managers and Casting Directors to determine what San Francisco/Bay Area theatrical decision-makers most wanted to learn from the data. Their top questions were:

  • What’s the overall picture? How much work is there?
  • Have the employment numbers for women changed over time?
  • How does contract type/budget size affect the gender ratios?
  • How does the year a play was written affect the gender ratios?
  • Do women write roles for women, and men write roles for men?
  • Do women direct plays by women, and men direct plays by men?
  • How often do plays have more than 50% roles for one gender?

You can read the full report here on the WomenArts website. You can also download .pdf files of the report, the info graphic-below, and the raw data used to create the report.


Key Findings
Graphic Design by Cheshire Isaacs

If you find any of the data compelling, you are invited to leave a comment. Please share these findings widely, post the infographic on social media, and encourage artistic leaders in our community to read the report!  You can also be an advocate for gender parity by making some of the choices listed here.

67 responses to “Not Even: A Study of Gender Parity in Bay Area Theatre

  1. Pingback: Counting Actors: August 2018 Statistics | Works by Women San Francisco·

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