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.
Playwrights = 30; 8 women and 22 men.
Directors = 21; 11 women and 10 men.
Union Actors = 50; 20 women and 30 men.
Non-Union Actors = 96; 53 women and 43 men.
Total Actors = 146: 73 women and 73 men; 50 Union and 96 Non Union; 138 Local and 8 Non-Local.
Shows included in the July count:
- Romeo and Juliet (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival) Note: women play male characters of Tybalt and Benvolio. Full Disclosure: I’m in this cast, playing Lady Capulet
- Freedomland (San Francisco Mime Troupe) Note: female director, male music director, male book writer, male music/lyrics writer, male additional music
- Detroit (Aurora Theatre Company)
- Top Girls (Shotgun Players)
- The Desk Set (No Nude Men)
- Shiner (FaultLine Theater)
- Project Ahab or The Eye of the Whale (Central Works)
- Sense and Sensibility (Livermore Shakespeare Festival)
- Cymbeline (Marin Shakespeare Company) Note: this cast includes 7 interns, 2 male, 5 female
- Company (San Francisco Playhouse) Note: female director, male music director, 2 male writers – 1 book, 1 music/lyrics. Understudies/swings not included in count – `1 f union, 1 male non union
- Triangle (TheatreWorks) Note: female director, male music director – 3 man writing team – all 3 credited book, one lyrics, one music
- Life is a Dream (California Shakespeare Theater)
- Demetrius Unbound (The Bare Flag Theatre)
- Now for Now (Z Space) Note: the two performers, 1 female, 1 male, are also co-creators of the piece and are both counted as writers and as directors of the piece
- Hay Fever (Stanford Repertory Theatre)
- Thurgood (Lorraine Hansberry Theatre) Note: male actor credited with voiceover not included in this count
- I Saw It! (Wily West Productions) Note: team of 5 female, 3 male writers credited for this production
A great big thank you to the audience members, and cast members and theater company staff, who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Erin Merritt, Tiiu Eva Rebane, Matt Weimer, Jessica Lynn Carroll, Jessica Powell, Cat Luedtke, Jennifer LeBlanc, Marissa Skudlarek, Michael Barrett Austin, Sofia Ahmad and Roselyn Hallett.
Please share these numbers and use them to start conversations at rehearsal, in the office or at the pub after the show. If you’re seeing or working on a show with August performances, go here to learn how to share the info with the project. It takes 5 minutes and I would especially appreciate your help this month as I’ve got two different projects in performance, and will have a limited number of nights off to go see other shows!
Want some bigger picture info? On April 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 August will go up between September 1st and September 5th.