Counting Actors: May 2018 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

MAY 2018

May’s count includes 13 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 1043 shows.

Here are the stats:

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Playwrights = 21; 3 women and 17 men, 1 trans/non-binary.

Directors = 18; 5 women and 12 men, 1 trans/non-binary.

Union Actors = 42; 14 women and 28 men.

Non-Union Actors = 61; 40 women, 20 men, 1 trans/non-binary.

Total Actors = 103; 54 women, 48 men, 1 trans/non-binary; 42 Union and 61 Non Union; 93 Local and 10 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 May count:

  • Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Contra Costa Civic Theatre)
  • Me and My Girl (42nd Street Moon) Note:  female director, male music director are both counted as director; writers are 5 men – 1 music 2 book/lyrics and 2 more book revised and additional contributions
  • What the Constitution Means to Me (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) Note: playwright is also actor in production; 2 actors are youth actors alternating in their role and both are counted here
  • Eureka Day (Aurora Theatre Company)
  • Marjorie Prime (Marin Theatre Company)
  • Father Comes Home from the Wars (American Conservatory Theater)
  • An Entomologist’s Love Story (SF Playhouse) 
  • Palace Wreckers (Central Works)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (Ray of Light Theatre) Note:  co-directed by 1 male, 1 female, male music director all credited as directors; 2 male writers – one lyrics, one music.  All female cast, playing both male and female roles.
  • The Fantastiks (Landmark Musical Theatre) Note:  male director and male music director both credited as director; male book/lyrics male music both credited as writer; additional female credited as understudy not included in actor count.
  • Waafrika (TheatreFirst)
  • When Pigs Fly (New Conservatory Theatre Center) Note: male director and male music director both credited as director; male book/lyrics and male music writer both credited as writer.
  • The 18 Billion Dollar Prize (Theatre Planners/Theatre Verite Collective)

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, Jonathan Spector 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 June 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 June will go up between July 1st and July 5th.


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