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.
April’s count includes 15 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 1030 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 21; 8 women and 11 men, 1 trans/non-binary.
Directors = 21; 10 women and 11 men.
Union Actors = 48; 21 women and 27 men.
Non-Union Actors = 73; 30 women, 41 men, 2 trans/non-binary.
Total Actors = 121; 51 women, 68 men, 2 trans/non-binary; 48 Union and 73 Non Union; 106 Local and 15 Non-Local.
Note: the trans/non-binary category counts artists who self-identify with pronouns other than he/she such as they, zhe, hir etc. Artists who use she/her pronouns are included in the ‘women’ group and those who use he/him pronouns are included in the ‘men’ group.
Shows included in the April count:
- Vietgone (American Conservatory Theater) Note: 2 understudies 1 male, non-union, 1 female, union not included in this count.
- Christian Teen Dolphin-Sex Beach Party (Awesome Theatre)
- The Laramie Project (Left Coast Productions) Note: all actors here play multiple roles, many across gender
- The Merchant of Venice (City Lights Theater Company)
- Shifting Spaces (Those Women Productions) Note: an evening of 3 short pieces with 3 directors and 3 writers, and actors playing multiple roles across all 3 pieces
- Timon of Athens (Cutting Ball Theater Company)
- Saturday Night (42nd Street Moon) Note: male director and male music director, 2 male writers, 1 music, 1 book/lyrics
- You Are My Sunshine (The Alma Theatre Company) Note: co-directed by 2 women, one of whom is also writer and actor. Full disclosure: I am one of cast members on this project.
- The Gangster of Love (Magic Theatre)
- American Jornalero (Ubuntu Theater Project)
- Disruption (3Girls Theater Company)
- A Number (Aurora Theatre Company)
- The Mystery of Love and Sex (New Conservatory Theatre Center)
- Love Bombs and Apples (Golden Thread Productions)
- Angels in America Pts 1 and 2 (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) Note: the role of ‘Angel and Others’ is shared by two actors, both female and union, one local, one not and both are counted here
- The Bridges of Madison County (TheatreWorks) Note: Male director and male music director both counted as directors, female book writer and male music/lyrics writer both counted as writers
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, Anne Hallinan, Kelly Ground, Brian Herndon and Karen Thomson Hall.
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 May 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 to attend women-led theater with other supporters! Stay tuned for our 50th meetup!
Statistics for May will go up between June 1st and June 5th.