Counting Actors: October 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


October’s count includes 15 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 961 shows.

Screenshot (46)

Here are the stats:

Playwrights = 17; 5 women and 12 men.

Directors = 19; 10 women and 9 men.

Union Actors = 73; 38 women and 35 men.

Non-Union Actors = 51; 28 women, 23 men.

Total Actors = 124; 66 women, 58 men; 73 Union and 51 Non Union; 94 Local and 30 Non-Local.

Shows included in the October count:

  • This Bitter Earth (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
  • Thomas and Sally (Marin Theatre Company)
  • The Legend of Pink (Theatre Rhino)
  • Madame Ho (Eugenie Chan Theater Projects & 6NewPlays)
  • Hamlet (American Conservatory Theater) Note: cast includes ACT students, both union and non-union;  most of cast understudy other roles.  2 additional understudies 1m, 1 f both union are not included in this count
  • Blasted (Shotgun Players)
  • A Midsummer Nights’ Dream (Theater of Others) Note: several traditionally male roles played as female in this production.
  • Ain’t Misbehavin’ (42nd St Moon) Note:  male director male music director counted as directors; 2 male writers credited  for ‘conceived by’ credit.
  • Queen Lear (We Players) Note: text is adapted from Shakespeare’s King Lear by the performers.  No director is credited, but several ‘facilitators’ are listed in the program with backgrounds in psychotherapy, journalism, hospice work, etc.  Both performers are credited as director, and Shakespeare is credited in the writer category.
  • The Unveiling (actor produced) Note: AEA Member Project Code show done at Phoenix; full disclosure – I was one of the paid actors on this project.
  • Imaginary Comforts (Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
  • Barbeque (SF Playhouse) Note: although this is a 10 person cast, one of the roles has been cast with two different people so both are counted here; additionally there are 4 understudies 2 male, 2 f all non-union who are not counted here.  Some of regular cast are understudying other roles as well.
  • The Mineola Twins (Cutting Ball Theater)
  • Strange Ladies (Central Works) Note: female director and female music director both counted in director category.  Music is all pre-written (time period music about womens’ suffrage), so no composer/lyricists included here.
  • The Prince of Egypt  (TheatreWorks) Note: Male director and male music director, male music/lyrics and male book writer.  Cast includes 2 roles that are doublecast with kid actors, and all kids are counted.

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, Sylvia Kratins, Alison Sacha Ross, Elissa Beth Stebbins, and Susan Sobeloff.

Please share these numbers with your colleagues and use them to start conversations in the green room, the lobby or your favorite online theater focused social media group.  If you’re seeing or working on a show with November 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 Nov 9th to see ‘Strange Ladies’ by Susan Sobeloff at Central Works.

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


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