the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Join the campaign!

Hey Bay Area Theater Artists - I hope you'll join me in this simple letter writing campaign asking Theatre Bay Area to prioritize gender equity in the 2013 annual conference.  The how-to steps are below.

It's quick, it's easy, and it's time that the discrepancy between the number of women who live in the region, and the number of women who work as writers, directors, actors and other theater artists in the region is addressed in a forum of this size and scope.


1) Theatre Bay Area's annual conference is scheduled for April 2013, and they will begin planning in the new year. We would like to see Gender Equity as a major focus of this conference. Please help us to achieve this goal.
2) Cut and paste the letter below into an email and send to: (Brad Erickson, Executive Director), (Dale Albright, Director of Field Services), (Dana Harrison, Managing Director) and (Carina Salazar, Grants and Events Coordinator). 

****Please edit this letter to reflect your personal experience and relationship w/Theatre Bay Area - see the top of the letter for three options****

3) Share your actions w/friends and artistic peers, and encourage them to email as well.  Male and female friends as well as not current members of Theatre Bay Area who are involved in local theater can and should be encouraged to email this letter.

4) Please do all of this as soon as possible!  The Theatre Bay Area offices are currently closed for a winter holiday and will re-open on Jan 3rd.  We'd love to see their inboxes full of this request.

5) Once you have completed sending the letter, please email to report your action.  Or Bcc the email address in your correspondence with TBA!!!

Thanks so much friends!!!!

And now, the letter:

Dear Brad, Dana and Dale:

***I am writing as an individual member of Theatre Bay Area for (FILL IN AS APPROPRIATE) number of years. 

*****OR I am writing as a company member for  (FILL IN AS APPROPRIATE) number of years with (FILL IN NAME OF COMPANY). 

*****OR I am writing as an artist in the Bay Area theater community who is not a current member of Theatre Bay Area.

As Theatre Bay Area prepares for its annual conference, I urge TBA to prioritize including a thorough and focused conversation about gender inequity in Bay Area Theatre.  In recent months the theatre community has witnessed both a local and global groundswell of energy, passion and concern around the specific issue of gender parity, and it is long past time to give it the attention it deserves.

According to Theatre Bay Area’s own 2008 ‘Baseline Survey’, women make up 57% to 79% of individual members in every category (actors, administrators, choreographers, directors, designers, educators, funders, patrons, playwrights, and technicians). 

In addition, women are over 50% of the Actor’s Equity membership and, in some studies, over 70% of ticket buyers nationwide, (60% for TBA’s above mentioned survey).  Furthermore, plays by and about women consistently find the most success with the US. theatre box office.  Yet women still are not represented equitably on US stages, nor have any American theatre service organizations made the gender parity issue a priority for examination in their publications or conferences.

Given these numbers, a focused discussion on how to include more women in the creative aspects of theatre production and performance is not only overdue, it is crucial to defining theatre for a new generation, as well as for the audiences we are already blessed to have.  

Theatre Bay Area, as a highly regarded service organization, has a unique opportunity and obligation to its members to provide the leadership and platform for examining this issue.  Facilitating a serious and focused dialogue between individuals and companies at the upcoming TBA conference will raise awareness about the intricacies of this vital matter.

I look forward to attending this year’s conference and engaging with TBA staff, member theatres and individuals about the urgent issue facing our work. 

I hope you will seriously consider making gender inequity a primary focus of the conference.

Thank you for your time.  



  1. I couldn't agree with you more! I have sent my letters and will post on Linked In and Facebook. Thanks for calling this to my attention. Warmly, Dr. Deah Schwartz

  2. Thanks Deah for taking action and spreading the word! Much appreciated!