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.
March’s count includes 16 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 566 shows. Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 23; 8 women and 15 men.
Directors = 18; 8 women and 10 men.
Union Actors = 38; 19 women and 19 men.
Non-Union Actors = 82; 41 women and 41 men.
Total Actors = 120: 60 women and 60 men; 38 Union and 82 Non Union; 106 Local and 14 Non-Local.
Shows included in the March count:
- Xtigone (African-American Shakespeare Company)
- Hilarity (DIVAFest)
- Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play (American Conservatory Theater) Note: 3 understudies (2f,1m all non union) and offstage musician not included in this count
- Dolly and The Office: Two Stories by Alice Munro (Word for Word/Z Space) Note: playwright here is author Alice Munro – her short stories are spoken verbatim in this performance
- Oh Dad Poor Dad (Breadbox) Note: This is company formerly known as ‘Bigger than a Breadbox’. One male bellboy played by female actor.
- Other Desert Cities (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
- Richard III (Impact Theatre)
- Cannibal (Faultline)
- Tartuffe (Berkeley Rep)
- Stupid Fucking Bird (SF Playhouse)
- Romeo and Juliet note: this production, taking place at the Omni Commons in Oakland, is produced by the artists under Equity’s Member Production Code (MPC) and is not affiliated with a production company. It features cross gender casting in many roles including Romeo, Friar Lawrence, Lord Capulet, Mercutio, Benvolio, Nurse
- The Braggart Soldier or Major Blowhard (Custom Made)
- Pear Slices (Pear Avenue Theater) Note: this evening of short pieces has 2 directors, 1f, 1m and 8 playwrights 3f, 5m
- Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Crowded Fire)
- Antigonick (Shotgun Players)
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Bay Area Children’s Theatre)
A great big thank you to the audience members, cast members, directors and playwrights who sent emails with show info, including Matt Weimer, Susan Shay, Laura Jane Bailey, Maryssa Wanlass, Hillary Bray, Allison Page, and Nancy Cooper Frank.
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 April performances, go here to learn how to share the info with the project. It takes 5 minutes!
On March 28, 2015, as part of this year’s international celebration of Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day, the Counting Actors project released ‘Not Even, A Gender Analysis of 500 San Francisco/Bay Area Theatrical Productions 2011-2014 from the Counting Actors Project’.
An article about the report, including links to report graphics, key findings and raw data, can be found here. Please read and share the report as well.
This report was commissioned by WomenArts, 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 April will go up between April 1st and April 5th.