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.
September’s count includes 16 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 802 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 20; 6 women and 14 men
Directors = 20; 8 women and 12 men.
Union Actors = 76; 35 women and 41 men.
Non-Union Actors = 67; 30 women and 37 men.
Total Actors = 143; 65 women and 78 men; 76 Union and 67 Non Union; 122 Local and 21 Non-Local.
Shows included in the September count:
- A Year with Frog and Toad (Bay Area Children’s Theatre)
- It Can’t Happen Here (Berkeley Rep) Note: 2 male co-writers credited on this project
- King Charles III (American Conservatory Theatre) Note: 4 understudies, 1 union male, 1 union female, 1 non-union male, 1 non-union female are not included in this count.
- A Winter’s Tale (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival) Note:2 child actors alternate the role of Mamillius and both are included in this count; traditionally male roles played by women include Autolycus
- Nosejob (Windy City Productions)
- Things Reveal Themselves Falling Apart (RE:Act)
- Othello (California Shakespeare Theatre)
- Othello (Marin Shakespeare Company)
- The Guys/Veils (Pear Avenue Theater) Note: Two shows presented in rep – two directors, two playwrights, different actors for both, but other production positions overlap
- August: Osage County (Marin Theatre Company)
- Dear Master (Aurora Theatre Company)
- all of what you love and none of what you need (San Francisco Playhouse)
- The Life of the Party (TheatreWorks) Note: Male director and male music director. Male writer of music and lyrics additional writer ‘conceived by’, who is also director. Music/lyrics writer is also one of the actors. One actor is a member of British Equity, and is counted here as a union actor.
- Champagne White is DISASTEROUS (Oasis) Note: additional actors were used in filmed segments and not credited here. This drag spoof of disaster films had many moments of cross gender casting
- It Shoulda Been You (Center REP) Note: Male director and male music director. Male writer book/lyrics female writer music/concept
- Speed of Light (Quantum Dragon Productions)
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 Matt Weimer, Karen Thomson Hall, Anne Hallinan, Sam Tillis and Carol Lashof.
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 October 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 October will go up between November 1st and November 5th.