Counting Actors: November 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


November’s count includes 14 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 975 shows.

Here are the stats:

Screenshot (47)


Playwrights = 26; 10 women and 16 men.

Directors = 29; 12 women and 17 men.

Union Actors = 32; 13 women and 19 men.

Non-Union Actors = 90; 42 women, 48 men.

Total Actors = 122; 55 women, 67 men; 32 Union and 90 Non Union; 112 Local and 10 Non-Local.

Shows included in the November count:

  • The School for Scandal (Theatre Lunatico)
  • The Liar (Center REP)
  • The Farm (TheatreFirst) Note: co-directed by m/f team plus f music director.  3 writers – 1 m original script, 1 m, 1 f credited as ‘arranged by’
  • ReOrient Festival 2017 (Golden Thread Productions) Note: an evening of 6 short pieces (5 f writers 1 m), with multiple directors 3 f, 1 m) directing 1 or 2 pieces each. Actors play several roles across all pieces.
  • The Morning After (Left Coast Productions) Note: an evening of 7 short pieces, each with its’ own director (5 men 2 women) and 3 m, 3 f writers (one m writer wrote two pieces) actors play multiple roles across all pieces.
  • The Lion in Winter (Custom Made Theatre Company)
  • 42nd Street (Bay Area Musicals) Note: male director, male music director both counted as directors; 4 male writers – one music, one lyrics, two book.
  • The Royale (Aurora Theatre Company)
  • The Normal Heart (Theatre Rhinoceros) Note: director is also actor in show
  • Le Switch (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
  • Small Mouth Sounds (American Conservatory Theatre) Note: one of the actors is offstage and voice only for the show, but is included here as this role is done live, not pre-recorded.  Two understudies, 1 m 1 f not included in this count.
  • Hamlet (Arabian Shakespeare Festival) Note: cast of seven plays all roles in this production
  • Death Be Not Loud (Southern Railroad Theatre Company/3Girls Theatre Company) Note: writer is one of the actors
  • The Eva Trilogy  (Magic Theater) Note: one of credited cast is seen on video only, in a pre-recorded and non-speaking role, and not included in this count

Thank you so very much to the audience, cast members and artistic staff who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including  Anne Hallinan, Matt Weimer, Norman Gee, Tina Taylor, Stephanie Prentice, and Teddy Spencer.

Please share these numbers with your colleagues and use them to start conversations in the green room, the lobby or your favorite theater focused social media group.  If you’re seeing or working on a show with December 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. We’re taking December off, but will be back in 2018 to see more shows created by majority female artistic teams.

Thank you to Title Nine for featuring me and The Counting Actors project as a part of your #wearthepants campaign!

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


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