Counting Actors: December 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


December’s count includes 11 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 986 shows.

Screenshot (48)

Here are the stats:

Playwrights = 30; 1 transgender, 11 women and 18 men.

Directors = 28; 18 women and 10 men.

Union Actors = 27; 11 women and 16 men.

Non-Union Actors = 109; 2 transgender, 58 women, 49 men.

Total Actors = 136; 2 transgender, 69 women, 65 men; 27 Union and 109 Non Union; 124 Local and 12 Non-Local.

Shows included in the December count:

  • A Civil War Christmas (Town Hall Theatre Company) Note: female director and music director, book by female, music by male
  • Annie (Berkeley Playhouse) Note:  male director and musical director, 3 male writing team
  • All is Calm (Contra Costa Civic Theatre) Note: female director and female music director; all music is period so only 1 playwright credited, and not composers/lyricists
  • Around the World in 80 Days (TheatreWorks)
  • Participants (TheatreFirst) Note: an evening of 12 short pieces, each with its’ own director (2 men 10 women) and writer (1 trans, 5 women, 6 men) actors play multiple roles across all pieces.
  • Noh Christmas Carol (Theatre of Yugen) Note: co-written by two women and multiple male roles played by female performers
  • Partition (Indra’s Net Theater) Note: 2 female actors credited for this production for sharing the 1 female role.
  • Watch on the Rhine (Berkeley Repertory Theater) Note: co-production with Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis
  • The Black Rider (Shotgun Players) Note: male director and music director; 2 male writers credited one music/lyrics, one text. 2 female actors play male roles in this production
  • A Christmas Story (SF Playhouse) Note: Female director and male music director, 3 male writers 2 for music/lyrics and 1 for book
  • The Secret Garden (42nd Street Moon) Note: female director and music director, 2 female writers, one book/lyrics, one music

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 Matt Weimer, Michael Gene Sullivan, Erin Merritt, Aaron Murphy and Dyan McBride.

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 January 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’ll be seeing Alter Theater’s production of Bondage by Star Finch on January 18th.

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




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