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.
April’s count includes 16 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 739 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 18; 4 women and 14 men
Directors = 17; 3 women and 14 men.
Union Actors = 53; 18 women and 35 men.
Non-Union Actors = 82; 43 women and 39 men.
Total Actors = 135; 61 women and 74 men; 53 Union and 82 Non Union; 129 Local and 6 Non-Local.
Shows included in the April count:
- Boeing Boeing (San Jose Stage Company)
- Boeing Boeing (Ross Valley Players)
- Tokyo Fish Story (TheatreWorks)
- Cyrano (TheatreWorks) Note: male translator/adaptor and additional male adaptor not included as writers on this show
- Middletown (Custom Made Theatre Company)
- Hamlet (Shotgun Players) Note: this production is performed ‘roulette’ style – 7 actors know all 7 character roles/tracks in the show and draw roles from a hat before each performance, so gender bending happens regularly.
- Art (Center REP)
- Grapes of Wrath (Ubuntu Theater Project)
- The Heir Apparent (Aurora Theatre Company)
- The Quality of Life (Monday Afternoon Productions) Note: I’m a performer in this show
- The Boys from Syracuse (42nd St Moon) Note: male director, male music director, 3 male writers – one each for book/lyrics/music
- Anne Boleyn (Marin Theatre Company) Note: Male union understudy not included in this count
- On Clover Road (SF Playhouse)
- I Call My Brothers (Crowded Fire Theater) Note: Female translator not included in this count
- Whale’s Wake (Ragged Wing Ensemble) Note: playwright and director are same person
- Extreme Measures (Shelton Theater)
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 Patricia Milton, Sally Dana, Susan Shay, Sharon Huff, Jessica Risco, Anne Hallinan, Kirsten Brandt, Tamar Cohn, Matt Weimer, and Michael Barrett Austin.
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 May 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 May will go up between June 1st and June 5th.