Counting Actors: March 2017 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

MARCH 2017

March’s count includes 9 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 868 shows.


Screenshot (23)

Here are the stats:

Playwrights = 10; 8 women and 2 men

Directors = 9; 3 women and 6 men.

Union Actors = 29; 19 women and 10 men.

Non-Union Actors = 14; 10 women and 4 men.

Total Actors = 43; 29 women and 14 men; 29 Union and 14 Non Union; 26 Local and 17 Non-Local.

Shows included in the March count:

  • Leni (Aurora Theatre Company)
  • John (American Conservatory Theater) Note: 3 understudies 1 union female, 1 non-union female 1 non-union male not included in this count
  • You for Me for You (Crowded Fire Theater)
  • The Baltimore Waltz (Magic Theatre)
  • Beneath the Tall Tree (TheatreFirst)
  • Years in the Hundreds (Central Works) Note: 1 female actor on AEA contract because of SAG-AFTRA membership and counted as Union actor
  • Peerless (Marin Theatre Company)
  • Bondage (AlterTheater)
  • Roe (Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

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 Anne Hallinan, Karen Thomson Hall, Rinabeth Apostol, Emilie Talbot, Tamar Cohn and Michaela Goldhaber.

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 to learn more? Visit the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition website and check out their studies page.  You’ll find links to regional, national and international data on representation of women artists in theater, film/tv, literary arts and more, including ‘Not Even, A Gender Analysis of 500 San Francisco/Bay Area Theatrical Productions 2011-2014 from the Counting Actors Project’.   This report, commissioned by WomenArts, compiled data from this project to study trends over time.  WWSF’s article about the report, including links to report graphics, key findings and raw data, can be found here.

Want to support women artists?  WWSF will attend Ubuntu Theater Project’s production of To the Bone by Lisa Ramirez on April 16th at 2pm.  Join our monthly meetup group to learn more about discounted tickets for this production and future meetups to see shows featuring women theatermakers!

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







3 responses to “Counting Actors: March 2017 Statistics

  1. So, Valerie, has the revolution really happened — at least for everybody except women directors. I know you’re busy — yet I am curious as to your analysis of these delicious statistics for women playwrights and women actors — both Equity and not? What gives? And how do we keep it going? Thanks as always for providing the information that we can now mull, respond to, and organize around.

  2. Hi Evy – These are great questions! I’m guessing that many folks who make programming decisions at theaters may have been inspired by the fact that March is Women’s History Month. But this is only a guess, not a fact. Looking back through my data, there are 2 other months where female playwrights outnumbered male playwrights (Oct 2013, Jan 2016). The ‘Not Even’ report has shown that women tend to write more roles for women, and perhaps this month is replaying that in miniature. As to how we keep it going? Several of our local theaters have recently announced their 2017-2018 seasons. Email your thanks to those that have playwright parity. Comment on their fb pages about which shows you’re looking forward to and why.

    • Thanks, Valerie, it will be refreshing to email someone other than Dianne and Kamala and Nancy. Thanks as always for your information — and your insight. And, of course, your acting. Best, Evy

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