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.
July’s count includes 12 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 1069 shows.
Here are the stats:
Playwrights = 16; 8 women and 15 men.
Directors = 15; 7 women and 8 men.
Union Actors = 33; 15 women and 18 men.
Non-Union Actors = 113; 57 women, 54 men, 2 trans/non-binary.
Total Actors = 146; 72 women, 72 men, 2 trans/non-binary; 33 Union and 113 Non Union; 144 Local and 2 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 July count:
- Sunday in the Park with George (SF Playhouse) Note: male director and male music director both counted as directors; male writer for book/lyrics, male music composer both counted as writer; 2 children who alternate in a role both counted as actors. No understudies or swings are counted in actor category.
- Oedipus at Palm Springs (Theatre Rhino) Note: 5 female writers credited as a single collective entity (5 Lesbian Brothers)
- Pete the Cat (Bay Area Children’s Theater) Note: female writer of book/lyrics, male music composer both counted as writers.
- Seeing Red (San Francisco Mime Troupe) Note: 3 writers counted on this project: co -book writers 1 male 1 female and 1 male writer music/lyrics
- Everybody (California Shakespeare Theater) Note: 5 actors on this project are given different roles to play every night based on random selection
- White (Shotgun Players)
- Richard III (African-American Shakespeare Company) Note: many doubled roles in this production, with women taking on several traditional male roles including Buckingham, Hastings, and Clarence.
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch (San Jose Stage) Note: female director and music director both counted as directors, 2 male writers counted with 1 text, 1 book/lyrics. Angry Inch band members are included as actors here.
- Oklahoma (Woodminster) Note: male director, male music director both counted as directors, male book/lyrics writer and male music composer both counted as writers; roles of Curly and Jud are doublecast and all actors are included in this count.
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival) Note: the role of changeling child is doublecast and both actors are included here. Role of Lysander is cast with non-binary actor and several mechanicals played by female actors
- Shiver We Timbers (Idiot String)
- Universal Robots (Quantum Dragon Productions)
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, 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 August 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 support women theatermakers of the Bay Area? Join Works by Women SF on August 26th at Women on Fire by Marisela Trevino Orta, presented by Those Women Productions. More info on how to join us is here.
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.
Statistics for August will go up between September 1st and September 5th.