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.
October’s count includes 17 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 671 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 33; 7 women and 26 men.
Directors = 31; 10 women and 21 men.
Union Actors = 48; 24 women and 24 men.
Non-Union Actors = 92; 43 women and 49 men.
Total Actors = 140: 67 women and 73 men; 48 Union and 92 Non Union; 136 Local and 4 Non-Local.
Shows included in the October count:
- Fred’s Diner (Magic Theatre) Note: cast includes 4 non-union women who played non-speaking restaurant patrons and alternated performances.
- The Rover (Shotgun Players)
- Truck Stop (Crowded Fire) Note: 1 female actor plays both male and female characters in this piece
- Ada and the Memory Engine (CentralWorks)
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (CenterREP)
- ShocktoberFest (Thrillpeddlers) Note: 3 male directors, 2 male music directors, 4 male playwrights, 1 male songwriter. This show includes 2 one act plays without music, 1 with, a song interlude and an unscripted finale. Actors played multiple roles as well as musical instruments.
- Ah, Wilderness! (American Conservatory Theater) Note: cast includes entire 3rd year class of ACT MFA; 2 union F understudies and 1 M non-union understudy (child) are not included in this count
- The Nance (New Conservatory Theatre Center) Note: male director, male music director; 1 male writer for script; songs are traditional vaudeville pieces from a variety of composers and not written specifically for this show.
- Through the Wall (Ragged Wing Ensemble) Note: play has two directors, both female, and a team of 4 writers, 3 male 1 female
- HeroMonster (WE Players) Note: this work is ‘created and performed’ by 1 female, 1 male artist and uses text from several sources – I’ve credited the two artists as directors and as actors, but listed no playwright for this show
- Screaming Queens (Left Coast Productions) Note: 6 short pieces with a total of 5 male directors, 1 female director and 6 male writers, 1 female. Actors were in multiple pieces, 2 directors were also actors and 1 writer was also an actor
- Medea (The Breadbox)
- Monstress (American Conservatory Theater) Note: two one act plays, each written by a different male playwright. One of playwrights is also actor in production; 3 additional actors 2 male, 1 female are understudies on the production
- Crane (Ferocious Lotus)
- Dogfight (SF Playhouse) Note: male director, male music director, writing team of three males – book/lyrics – 2 males, music, 1 male. 2 understudies, 1 male, 1 female both nonunion not included in this count
- Sail Away (42nd Street Moon) Note: male director, male music director, one male writer for book/lyrics/music
- Artic Requiem: Luke Cole and Kivalina (Bootstrap Foundation) Note: co written by two women – one script, one wrote music/lyrics – not a ‘musical’ but live original music played throughout piece, and in places was sung by cast
Thank you so very much to the audience and cast members, who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Matt Weimer, Alisha Ehrlich, Kat Zdan, Lily Janiak, Emilie Talbott and Michael Patrick Gaffney.
Please share these numbers with your colleagues and use them to start conversations whether that’s in an online theater chat group, an audition waiting room, or the line for the restroom at intermission. If you’re seeing or working on a show with November 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 November will go up between December 1st and December 5th.