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.
May’s count includes 15 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 754 shows.
Here are the stats:
- Playwrights = 26; 7 women and 18 men
- Directors = 25; 10 women and 15 men.
- Union Actors = 49; 16 women and 33 men.
- Non-Union Actors = 114; 54 women and 60 men.
- Total Actors = 163; 70 women and 93 men; 49 Union and 114 Non Union; 141 Local and 22 Non-Local.
Shows included in the May count:
- A Dream Play (Cutting Ball Theater)
- Rock of Ages (Center REP) Note: Female director, male music director both counted as directors; 1 male book writer counted as writer, but none of songwriters were counted for this jukebox musical
- Jekyll & Hyde (Central Works)
- Red Velvet (SF Playhouse) Note: 6 understudies – 3 male (1 union), 3 female (1 union) not included in this count
- For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday (Berkeley Rep)
- Antony & Cleopatra (African-American Shakespeare Company)
- The Boy from Oz (Landmark Musical Theater) Note: male director, female music director, 3 male writers – 1 music/lyrics, 2 book, 2 young male actors alternate role of ‘young peter allen’ and are both included in this count
- Six Degrees of Separation (Custom Made Theatre Company)
- Treasure Island (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) Note: one female actor on this project played both female and male characters, also director and writer are same person and 2 actors credited as ‘musician’ are included in this count.
- The How and the Why (Aurora Theatre Company)
- The Most Dangerous Highway in the World (Golden Thread Productions) Note: I worked on this show as an acting coach for young performers in the cast
- Most Happy Fella (42nd St Moon) Note: female director, male music director, one male writer for book/music/lyrics
- The Mountaintop (Contra Costa Civic Theatre)
- San Francisco Here I Come (Left Coast Productions) Note: An evening of seven short plays, all by different writers, and with different directors. Actors were in multiple pieces, and writers and directors also acted.
- Gypsy (Contra Costa Musical Theater) Note: Female director, male music director, 3 male writers – 1 each book/music/lyrics
Thank you so very much to the audience members, cast, theater staff and production team members who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Karen Thomson Hall, Daniel Olson, Anne Hallinan, Radhika Rao, Nancy Cooper Frank, Brian Herndon, Matt Weimer, and Tiiu Rebane.
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 June 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 June will go up between July 1st and July 5th.