Counting Actors: September 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


September’s count includes 12 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 946 shows.

Here are the stats:

Screenshot (41)

Playwrights = 21; 10 women and 11 men.

Directors = 16; 7 women and 9 men.

Union Actors = 34; 14 women and 20 men.

Non-Union Actors = 71; 31 women, 40 men.

Total Actors = 105; 45 women, 60 men; 34 Union and 71 Non Union; 85 Local and 20 Non-Local.

Shows included in the September count:

  • Cabaret (Ross Valley Players) note: male director, female music director, and 3 male writers, one each for book, music and lyrics
  • Luna Gale (Aurora Theatre Company)
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream (African-American Shakespeare Festival)
  • Zenith (SF Playhouse)
  • Million Dollar Quartet (Center REP) Note: male director, male music director, 2 men wrote book and since this is ‘jukebox’ musical using previously written songs, composers not counted
  • How I Learned to Drive (Custom Made Theatre Company)
  • Ain’t Too Proud (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) Note: Male director, male music director, are counted as directors;  female book writer counted as writer, music from ‘the legendary motown catalogue’ so composers not counted; 3 swings not included in this count but 1 f 2 m, all AEA
  • A Tale of Autumn (Crowded Fire Theater)
  • Swampland (Other Voices/Playwrights’ Center) Note: an evening of short pieces with 1 director but 7 writers 3m, 4 f
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (Douglas Morrison Theatre) Note: 2 police officer roles written male but played by female actors as female characters
  • Cirque Exotique du Monde (Dragon Theatre)

Thank you so very much to the audience, cast members and theater company staff who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Anne Hallinan, Matt Weimer, Kimberly Wadycki, Patricia Milton, Mary Ann Rodgers, Hillary Bray.

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 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?  Join the WWSF monthly meetup group on October 19th to see ‘Madame Ho’ by Eugenie Chan.

Statistics for October will go up between November 1st and November 5th.




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