Counting Actors: October 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


October’s count includes 11 shows, bringing the total shows counted by the project to 1098 shows.

Here are the stats:


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Playwrights = 15; 6 women and 9 men.

Directors = 14; 8 women and 6 men.

Union Actors = 41; 18 women and 23 men.

Non-Union Actors = 69; 32 women, 35 men, 2 trans/non-binary.

Total Actors = 110; 50 women, 58 men, 2 trans/non-binary; 41 Union and 69 Non Union; 93 Local and 17 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 October count:

  • Dancing Lessons (Center REP)
  • Sweat (American Conservatory Theater)
  • Fairview (Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
  • Red Scare on Sunset (New Conservatory Theatre Center) Note: as per tradition with plays by Charles Busch, lead female character is played by male actor in drag.  Additionally some smaller female roles are played by men in drag
  • Chekhov’s Ward 6 (Central Works)
  • Fun Home (TheatreWorks) Note: male director and male music director, female writer book/lyrics, female writer music.  Also 3 roles for child actors are doublecast and all kids are counted here
  • Women Laughing Alone with Salad  (Shotgun Players)
  • Graveyard Shift (SF Playhouse)
  • Hamlet (Ubuntu)
  • Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (42nd Street Moon) Note: female director, male music director, 1 male writer book, 1 male writer lyrics 1 female writer music
  • The Resting Place (Magic Theatre)
  • Uncle Vanya (Cutting Ball Theater)

Thank you so very much to the audience and cast members who used the Counting Actors form to contribute show info this month, including Emilie Talbott, Michael Barrett Austin, 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 November 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.

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


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