Counting Actors Project: March Statistics

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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.

*Note from the Editor: this months statistics report was delayed because both Valerie Weak and Christine Young were making theater!  Christine’s USF project Origins of Love closed last week, but you can still see Valerie performing in Quality of Life through 4/23.

MARCH 2016
March’s count includes 10 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 723 shows.

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Here are the stats:

  • Playwrights = 14; 2 women and 12 men
  • Directors = 16; 5 women and 11 men.
  • Union Actors = 25; 7 women and 18 men.
  • Non-Union Actors = 57; 22 women and 35 men.
  • Total Actors = 82; 29 women and 53 men; 25 Union and 57 Non Union; 76 Local and 6 Non-Local.

Shows included in the March count:

  • Macbeth (Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
  • Hair (Bay Area Musicals) Note: Male director and male music director counted as directors for this show & 3 male writers – 1 book/lyrics and 2 music/lyrics
  • Mothers & Sons (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
  • The Colored Museum (African-American Shakespeare Company) Note: 4 directors on this project, 2 male, 2 female
  • Stop Kiss (TheatreFirst)
  • Colossal (SF Playhouse)
  • Buyer & Cellar (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
  • Warren’s Profession (Douglas Morrisson Theatre)
  • Civil (Quantum Dragon)
  • Talking Heads (Spare Stage)
  • Stories by Emma Donohue and Colm Toibin (Word for Word Performing Arts Company) Note: 2 playwrights on this project are both fiction writers. This company performs verbatim adaptations of fiction. This piece also had two directors, 1 male, 1 female)

Thank you so very much to the audience members, cast and production team members who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Laylah Muran de Assereto, Rosie Hallett, Carol Lashof, Anne Hallinan, Matt Weimer, and Jon Tracy.

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 April 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 April will go up between May 1st and May 5th.

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2 responses to “Counting Actors Project: March Statistics

  1. Hi, Valerie. As always thanks. Do you have a sense why women fell backwards in (it seems to me) every category? And fell back significantly? It is Swan Month, for goodness sakes — and some theaters are still in the midst of their women-focused seasons. It just seems odd. Although I appreciated that you note that you counted three male writers for _Hair_ (There’s nothing like the age of Aquarius to make a woman’s thoughts turn to revolt.) . Fortunately, this month seems like an outlier but still . . . any thoughts? Best, Evy

  2. Good questions Evy – I’m not really sure why this month went this way. I was surprised too. I’ve wondered in the past if I actually over-report women – most months are guaranteed to have at least 1 female playwright, because we go to a show by a female writer with Works by Women SF, and we didn’t do that this month.

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