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.
February’s count includes 13 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 713 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 15; 5 women, 9 men and 1 trans
Directors = 14; 6 women and 8 men.
Union Actors = 23; 11 women and 12 men.
Non-Union Actors = 51; 25 women, 25 men and 1 trans.
Total Actors = 74; 36 women, 37 men and 1 trans; 23 Union and 51 Non Union; 74 Local and 0 Non-Local.
Note: Counting Actors uses trans to count artists who fall outside the gender binary, and primarily assigns this category to artists who self-identify with a pronoun other than she or he in a program biography, interview, or online content such as a personal website.
Shows included in the February count:
- The Bunner Sisters (RE:ACT)
- Totem&Taboo (Central Works)
- Hamlet (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival) Note: this is a truncated touring version of the show for 5 performers. Women and men played both male and female characters, and the show began with a hat draw for whether a male or female actor would play Hamlet that day – the other would play a track that included Horatio/Ophelia/Player Queen/Gravedigger
- Born Yesterday (Center REP)
- Sam and Dede or My Dinner with Andre the Giant (Custom Made Theatre Company)
- Ondine (Cutting Ball Theater)
- Bad Dates (Cinnabar Theater)
- Little Erik (Aurora Theatre Company) Note: playwright and director are same person
- Mechanics of Love (Crowded Fire Theater)
- Tinderella (FaultLine Theater) Note: female director, male music director both included in the director category, and 3 writers as follows: female(book), male (music), male (lyrics)
- Dogeaters (Magic Theatre)
- Peer Gynt (Artists Rep SF)
- Sagittarius Ponderosa (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
Thank you so very much to the audience members and cast members who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Heather Kellogg, Patricia Milton, Anne Hallinan, Molly Noble, Matt Weimer, and Esperanza Catubig
Please share these numbers with your colleagues and use them to start conversations on a break at rehearsal, the bar after the show, or in the lobby before they open the house. If you’re seeing or working on a show with March 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 the 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 March will go up between April 1st and April 5th.