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.
August’s count includes 9 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 639 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 13; 4 women and 9 men.
Directors = 11; 4 women and 7 men.
Union Actors = 13; 5 women and 8 men.
Non-Union Actors = 83; 39 women and 44 men.
Total Actors = 96: 44 women and 52 men; 13 Union and 83 Non Union; 85 Local and 11 Non-Local.
Shows included in the August count:
- Salome Dance For Me (New Conservatory Theatre Center) Note: two writers on this show – 1 female book/lyrics/music, 1 male music writer; female writer is also performer of show
- HMS Pinafore (Lamplighters Music Theatre) Note: male director, male music director, male book writer, male lyrics writer. 7 roles are doublecast in this production – all actors are counted here
- 1 2 3 (SF Playhouse)
- As You Like It (Livermore Shakespeare Festival)
- Disclosure (Those Women Productions) Full Disclosure: I’m an actor in this production
- Don Quixote (Marin Shakespeare Company) Note: Team of two male writers on this project
- By the Way Meet Vera Stark (Douglas Morrisson Theatre)
- Club Inferno (Thrillpeddlers) Note: male director, male music director, male book/lyrics writer, male music/lyrics writer. Many cross gender and cross dressed roles in this show; many actors were actor/musicians. 3 musician only performers not included in this count
- The Mystery of Irma Vep (California Shakespeare Theater) Note: two male actors playing many roles, both male and female
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, Maryssa Wanlass, Matt Weimer, and Sofia Ahmad.
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 September performances, go here to learn how to share the info with the project. It’s a quick and easy form that takes less than five minutes to fill out!
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 September will go up between October 1st and October 5th.