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 17 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 885 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 19; 4 women and 15 men
Directors = 18; 4 women and 14 men.
Union Actors = 42; 13 women and 29 men.
Non-Union Actors = 85; 40 women and 45 men.
Total Actors = 127; 53 women and 74 men; 42 Union and 85 Non Union; 120 Local and 7 Non-Local.
Shows included in the April count:
- Dog Sees God (Left Coast Productions)
- House of Yes (Custom Made Theatre Company)
- Noises Off (SF Playhouse) Note: 4 non union understudies 2 m, 2 f not included in this count
- Needles and Opium (American Conservatory Theater) Note: Actors are Canadian, and not members of AEA, but ‘appear courtesy of AEA’ so included in union count
- Frankenstein (City Lights Theater Company)
- Spell Eternity (Quantum Dragon Theatre)
- Temple (Aurora Theatre Company)
- Rags (TheatreWorks) Note: Male director, male music director, 3 males credited as writers – one each book/lyrics/music. 2 boys alternate in child role and are both counted here
- Autobiography of a Terrorist (Golden Thread Productions)
- Breeders (FaultLine Theater)
- To the Bone (Ubuntu Theater Project) Note: playwright is also actor in production
- Nora (Shotgun Players)
- Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes (Arabian Shakespeare Festival)
- Macbeth (Theatre Lunatico)
- Sisters Matsumoto (Center REP)
- Everything That’s Beautiful (New Conservatory Theatre Center) Note: play about family with a transgender child, actor playing transgender child is counted as female here, because of use of she/her pronouns in program and online profiles
- Jitney (African-American Shakespeare Company) Note: director is also actor in production
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, Scott Ragle, Matt Weimer, Patricia Milton, Teressa Foss, Sofia Ahmad, Megan Kilian-Uttam, and Melissa Locsin
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 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 San Francisco Playhouse’s production of The Roommate by Jen Silverman on May 25th at 8pm. 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 May will go up between June 1st and June 5th.