Counting Actors: December 2016 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


December’s count includes 9 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 839 shows.

Dec 2016

Here are the stats:

Playwrights = 16; 4 women and 12 men

Directors = 11; 6 women and 5 men.

Union Actors = 49; 23 women and 26 men.

Non-Union Actors = 64; 39 women and 25 men.

Total Actors = 113; 62 women and 51 men; 49 Union and 64 Non Union; 95 Local and 18 Non-Local.

Shows included in the December count:

  • 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips(Berkeley Repertory Theater) Note: 1 woman, 2 men counted here as writers – woman is listed as adaptor (and is also director) men are listed as adaptor and composer.  Cast are all members of British Actors’  Equity, but counted here as Equity members.  2 performers credited  as ‘musician’ are not included in this count.
  • Sons of the Prophet (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
  • She Loves Me (SF Playhouse) Note: female director, male music director, 3 male writers, one each for book/music/lyrics
  • Star Trek Live (Oasis San Francisco) Note: this is a drag Star Trek.  All performers are playing cross gender.
  • Daddy Long Legs (TheatreWorks) Note: male director, male music director, 2 male writers one book, 1 music/lyrics
  • Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley (Marin Theatre Company) Note: co-written by two women
  • Paradise Street (EXIT Theater)
  • Fiction (Dragon Productions/Laura Jane Bailey)
  • Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theater) Note: Female director, male music director; male and female co writers of script and male writer of music on this production.  Scrooge doublecast and both actors included here.  Cast on this project includes union actors, MFA students on their first contract and students aged 7-13 from ACT’s Young Conservatory program.

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 Sheila Devitt, Rebecca Ennals, Susan Shay, Matt Weimer, Erin-Kate Whitcomb and Colin Thomson.

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 January 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 January will go up between February 1st and February 5th.


One response to “Counting Actors: December 2016 Statistics

  1. All hail, women actors and directors. As for women playwrights, not so much. But Valerie you are a marvelous example of resilience from which can all take inspiration. Thanks for the thought-provoking stats.

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