Counting Actors: May 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

MAY 2017

May’s count includes 18 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 903 shows.



Screenshot (33)

Here are the stats:

Playwrights = 31; 9 women and 22 men

Directors = 27; 14 women and 13 men.

Union Actors = 41; 22 women and 19 men.

Non-Union Actors = 74; 35 women, 38 men, 1 trans.

Total Actors = 115; 57 women, 57 men, 1 trans; 41 Union and 74 Non Union; 108 Local and 7 Non-Local.

Shows included in the May count:

  • The Seagull (Utopia Theatre Project) Note: Most roles in this production are cast across gender or with gender non-conforming actors
  • Battlefield (American Conservatory Theater) Note: Production is ‘directed and adapted by a m/f team’ so both are credited as director, and also both credited as playwright, along with additional m playwright who adapted Mahabharata; 2 women play the female role at different points in the run, so both are included here.  Onstage drummer is not included in the actor count.  All actors are counted as members of Actors’ Equity, although some are international and may not be members
  • A View from the Bridge (Shelton Theater)
  • Best of Playground 2017 (Playground) Note:  6 short pieces: 3 male directors, 3 female directors, 3 male writers 3 female writers
  • No, No, Nanette (42nd St Moon) Note: female director, male music director, 4writers, 1 book, 1 lyrics, 1 book/lyrics, 1 music
  • The Roommate (SF Playhouse)
  • HeLa (TheatreFirst)
  • Phaedra (Cutting Ball Theater)
  • Fly Guy the Musical (Bay Area Children’s Theatre) Note: 1 male writer book/music/lyrics, f director, f music director
  • Smut: Or The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson (Word for Word) Note: Playwright here is writer of short story – company performs in verbatim style
  • Home (Lorraine Hansberry Theatre)
  • Twins (PianoFight)
  • Edward King (Central Works)
  • Hedge (Playground)
  • Kano + Abe (Playground)
  • The Events (Shotgun Players) Note: performance each night also features a choir – different community choirs rotate through the show, as per playwright’s instructions, and choir members aren’t included in the count
  • As You Like It (California Shakespeare Theater)
  • Altar Boyz (Center REP) Note: additional actor plays pre-recorded voice character and is not included in this count, though credited in the program.

Thank you so very much to the audience, cast, and production team members who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Anne Hallinan, Karen Thomson Hall, Matt Weimer, Jeunee Simon, Patricia Milton, Emilie Talbot, Sylvia Kratins and Maryssa Wanlass.

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 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 FaultLine Theater’s production of How to Be a White Man by Luna Malbroux and Jennifer Lewis on Thursday June 22 at 7:30pm.  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 June will go up between July 1st and July 5th.



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