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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Counting Actors: the 2nd 100 shows contracts with health weeks

To compare this with the first 100 shows that had contracts with weeks, please go here.  There's a definition of what 'health weeks' are, and why they're important, included in this post.

57 shows were produced by theaters with contracts that include health weeks (or 57%) of the total.

Those shows had:
39 male directors, 31 female directors (56%, 44%)
64 male writers, 22 female writers (74%, 26%)
443 actors
271 male actors, 172 female actors (61%, 39%)
260 union actors, 183 non-union actors (59%, 41%)
168 male union actors, 93 female union actors (65%, 35%)

358 local actors, and 83 non-local actors (1 of those non-local actors was a non-union actor) (19% non-local, 81% local)

The companies and shows were:
ACT/The Scottsboro Boys, Maple and Vine, Elektra, The Normal Heart and Play/Endgame
Aurora/The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Salomania, and Anatol
Berkeley Playhouse/Lucky Duck
Berkeley Rep/Emotional Creatures, Red, Chinglish and Black and Blue Boys, Broken Men
CalShakes/Hamlet, Tempest, Spunk and Blithe Spirit
CenterREP/The Underpants, Lucky Stiff, and Rumors
CentralWorks/Education of a Rake and The Richard the First Trilogy
Cutting Ball/The Strindberg Chamber Plays
Diablo Theater Company/Legally Blonde
Golden Thread/ReOrient 2012 Series A
Magic/Bruja, The Other Place, Any Given Day
Marin Shakes/The Liar, King John, Midsummer Night's Dream
Marin Theater Co/Othello, God of Carnage, Circle Mirror Transformation and Topdog/Underdog
Playground/Best of Playground 2012
Retrodome/Becoming Britney
San Jose Rep/The Understudy, Death of the Novel and Bill W and Doctor Bob
SF Playhouse/Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Reunion, A Behanding in Spokane and The Aliens
SF Shakes/Henry V
SF Mime Troupe/The Last Election
SJ Stage/Race and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Stanford Continuing Studies and Stanford Summer Theater/Miss Julie
TheatreWorks/Of Mice and Men, Wheelhouse, Upright Grand, Time Stands Still, and 33 Variations
Willows/Dolls House
Z Space & Word for Word/Stories from Sonoma Mountain

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Counting Actors: the 2nd 100 shows contracts without health weeks

To compare this data to the exact same set for the first 100 shows, and learn what 'contracts without weeks' means, go here.

Please also take a look at the previous two posts in this series, which cover non-union shows, and BAPP agreement shows.  The next post will cover data for contracts with weeks.

There were 12 shows that fit this category (12%).

Those shows had:
4 male directors, 10 female directors (29%, 61%)
10 male writers, and 3 female writers (77%, 33%
131 total actors
78 male actors, 53 female actors (60%, 40%)
25 union actors and 106 non union actors (19%, 81%)
15 male union actors and 10 female union actors (60%, 40%)

There were 4 non-union, non-local actors in these shows and 126 local actors. (3% non-local, 97% local)

The companies and shows were:

AlterTheater/References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot
Crowded Fire/The Hundred Flowers Project
Foolsfury/Port Out Starboard Home
Intersection for the Arts & Playwrights Foundation/Dogsbody
Livermore Shakespeare Festival/Hamlet and Merry Wives of Windsor
Porchlight/Our Country's Good
Shotgun/The Great Divide, Precious Little, Assassins, Voyage and Truffaldino Says No

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Counting Actors: The 2nd 100 shows BAPP only

For a post looking at the same information for the first 100 shows, click here.   There's also a definition of the BAPP at the beginning of that post.

The previous post looked at non-union shows, and the next two posts will look at union contracts without and then with health weeks.

There were 11 BAPP shows in the 2nd 100, or 11% of the total shows.

These shows had:

6 male directors, 5 female directors (55%, 45%)
8 male writers, 4 female writers (66%, 33%)
60 total actors
22 male actors, 38 female actors (36%, 64%)
21 union actors, 39 non union actors (35%, 65%)
8 male union actors, 13 female union actors (38%, 62%)

All actors except 1 were local actors.  The non-local actor was also a non-union actor. That's 98% local, 2% non-local.

The companies and shows were:
Aluminous Collective/Dusk Rings a Bell
Back It Up Productions/Project:Lohan
BrickaBrack/Stalking Christopher Walken
Custom Made/The Play about the Baby
Diaspora Productions/And That's What Little Girls are Made of
One Heart Productions/Angel of the Poor
Theater Rhino/100 Saints You Should Know
Ross Valley Players/Harmony in Hiding
Symmetry Theater/Emilie
Tides Theater/Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Counting Actors: the 2nd 100 shows non union only

This post, and the next three after it in this series will divide shows 101-200 by their type of union contract, just like I did back in March with shows 1-100.  Today, I'm looking at the shows that had no union actors at all.  Next up will be the shows that use the BAPP or Bay Area Project Policy code, and after that, shows that had Equity contracts without health weeks, and finally shows that had Equity contracts which include health weeks.

If you'd like to see the posts I did in March for these four categories (and get slightly more explanation), go to non-union, BAPP, contracts without weeks, or contracts with weeks.  

There are 19 shows from the 2nd 100 (or 19%) that used no union actors at all.

These 19 shows had:

12 male directors, 9 female directors (57%, 43%)
16 male writers, 3 female writers  (84%, 16%)

133 total actors (for an average cast of 7 per show)
78 men and 55 women (59%, 41%)

4 of these actors (3%) were non-local.

The non-union shows/companies are:

BACT/Click Clack Moo
Central Works/Mesmeric Revelation
City Lights/In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play
Collage Theater/Box City
Crowded Fire/Good Goods and Invasion!
Custom Made/Merchant of Venice
Impact/Fisherman's Wife and Great Zamboni
Instrumental Theater/A Game
Intersection/Tree City Legends
Palo Alto Players/Lieutenant of Inishmore
Pear Avenue Theater/Mrs. Warren's Profession
Ragged Wing/Within the Wheel
Second Wind/Kiss of the Spider Woman
SF Shakespeare Festival/Midsummer Night's Dream (school tour version)
We Players/Twelfth Night
Wily West Productions/Believers

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Counting Actors: the 2nd 100 shows writers+gender+time stats

To see how this post compares to the same data for the first 100 shows, please take a look here.

So, if you're following along, you'll recall that the 2nd hundred plays had 99 male writers and 32 female writers (or 76% and 24%) and that the number is higher than 100 because of co-author situations, multiple one-acts on the same bill, and including writers of lyrics, book, music for musicals in the writers category.

In this post, I'm looking at how the writer's gender varies depending on when the play was written.  If the play was written prior to 1960, I'm labeling it a classic play.  If after 1960, I'm calling it a contemporary play.  And, within the contemporary play category, I'm calling plays written since 2000 new plays.

Of shows 101-200, 22 fell into the classic category and 80 fell into the contemporary category.  Two of the shows counted had 1 play/author from before 1960 and 1 or more plays/authors from after, so ended up getting counted 2 times (ACT's Endgame/Play has publishing dates of 1957 and 1963, and Golden Thread's ReOrient Series A included Egyptian playwright Tawfiq Al Haqim's War and Peace, from 1944, along with several new pieces).  With in the contemporary category, 69 plays were new.

The classic pieces had 22 writers total, breaking down to 22 male writers and no female writers.  No one co-authored here, and no musicals were in this category.

The contemporary pieces were written by 101 writers, and include multi-writer shows like the Best of Playground and the previously mentioned ReOrient series, as well as co-written shows and musicals.  Of the 101 writers, 78 were male and 32 female, or 71% and 29% respectively.

Within the contempory category, I did pull out 69 new plays, written by 96 writers, 66 male and 30 female, or 69% and 31% respectively.

More data to come - in regards to who is working with which union contract, and also putting all two hundred shows into some useable, shareable infographics.  Stay tuned!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Counting Actors: General Stats for shows 101-200

To see how this info compares to shows 1-100, please take a look here.

Shows 101-200 (aka the 2nd hundred shows) for Counting Actors had:

62 male directors, 55 female directors (several co-directed shows and/or shows made up of one-acts with different directors.  Musical Directors are also included as directors).

99 male writers, 32 female writers (again, one-acts, co-authors and counting writers of books, lyrics, music meant that this total was over 100)

This means 53% male directors and 47% female directors.  It means 76% male writers and 24% female writers.

774 actors worked on those 100 shows.  The largest cast show was Legally Blonde at Diablo Theatre Company, and the count includes two 1 person shows.  These actors include 454 men and 320 women (59%, 41%), 308 union actors and 466 non-union actors (40%, 60%) and 676 locals and 96 non-locals (88%, 12%).

Of the 308 union actors, 192 were men and 116 were women (62%, 38%), and while not explicitly asked, I noted that in 2 cases, the non-local actors were non-union, so that means that 70% of the union roles were cast with local actors and 30% from out of town.

Many more posts to come on this topic.  Like I did back in March with the first 100 shows,  I'm planning to break down this data by the year the play was written (pre-1960, 1960-2000, 2000 to now) and by the type of union contract used (no contract, BAPP, contracts w/out health weeks, contracts w/health weeks).

I'm also curious to look at the affinity between women writers and other opportunities for women on a project (in other words do women write more female characters?), as well as how this question plays out when a woman is a director.

And, I'm planning to put the first 200 shows together into some additional data, and use infographics to help tell the story.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Julia Caesar and 200+ shows counted!

A fascinating article in today's Guardian UK about an upcoming all-female Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse.    The women involved talk about getting to lead and to provide the motor for the story, rather than support the work of men as they've often been asked to do in the past.

The article also includes an important statistic.  In the Shakespeare canon there are 788 male characters and 141 female characters.

Which brings me to this exciting announcement: the Counting Actors project is at over 200 shows, so look for some statistical posts starting towards the end of the holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Launch!! WBWSF blogsite

I'm so thrilled to be a part of this new project that has both an online presence and a real world monthly meetup event!!

Take a look at my post in the 'Perspectives' section titled 'I Believe in You'.  And join us in the MeetUp group for our December 8th 2pm meetup to see 3GirlsTheater's holiday short plays festival 3 Girls Squared!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Theatre Bay Area is holding a Diversity Symposium on Monday December 3rd from 2-6 at Berkeley's Aurora Theater.

I will be on a panel discussing diversity issues and the individual artist.  I

It's a free event, but you need to RSVP in advance, which you can do here.

I hope to see you there!

Friday, November 9, 2012

LA Theatre Works

I wanted to read Lucy Prebble's Enron, so I requested it from the library, but I accidentally requested not the   script, but the recording of the play by LA Theatre Works.

And I'm really glad I did!  After listening to the play with a stellar cast, I went to the interwebs to find out more about what I'd gotten.

And it turns out LA Theatre Works has been making audio recordings of plays for 25 years.  They stream a weekly broadcast free of charge, and have a library of over 400 recordings of plays ranging from the Greeks to Shaw to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. You can buy downloads or CDs at their site, and I found over 40 titles available in the SF Public Library system on CD.

A fantastic resource for theater folks of all stripes.

Check 'em out here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Works by Women San Francisco

I'm part of a new group that's forming here in SF.  Taking a page from a NY based group, Works by Women, we're starting regularly monthly events to see shows that feature women in writing, directing, design positions and/or have a gender equal or majority female cast.  And a blog/website rolls out very soon as well - I'll update with that info when it's available.

You can find out more about the group here.

And, if you're available on Thursday, please consider joining us for our first event, Golden Thread's ReOrient.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Counting Actors October 2012

This project began in June 2011. With the contributions of many theater makers and theater goers,  I now have stats for 198 Bay Area shows!  To learn more about the project, including how to contribute info for shows you're working on or go to see and a a link to a list of prior posts, go here.

15 Shows Counted:
SF Shakes/Midsummer Night's Dream (this Shakespeare on Tour project truncates the play to a 55 minute length and a cast of 5 who play multiple roles.  Female actors play Puck/Egeus as well as several of the Mechanicals)
We Players/Twelfth Night (a site specific project with a female actor playing a male Toby Belch, and several actor/musicians with very small amounts of dialogue)
Ragged Wing/Within the Wheel (a multi-site, installation piece with one 'creator/director' credited here and additional 'site directors' not credited.  Also no credited writer - text was found text combined w/company devised text and no one is credited as 'text' or 'writer' in their program)
Crowded Fire/The Hundred Flowers Project
Cutting Ball/Strindberg Chamber Plays (although this is five one act plays presented over three separate evenings, they are all directed by one director, and use a company of actors for all the plays, so I'm counting it as a single show)
TheatreWorks/33 Variations
Marin Theater Company/Topdog/Underdog
Shotgun/Assassins (directing team on this project includes F director, M music director and M book/lyrics M composer; onstage band not included in count)
Diaspora Productions/And That's What Little Girls are Made of
CentralWorks/Richard the First Trilogy (again, this is three plays presented over three evenings, but by a single writer, director and company of actors, so counting it as one show; also female actor playing a boy/teen in one of the pieces)
Word for Word/Stories from Sonoma Mountain (credited writer is actually a fiction writer - this company presents short stories as plays)
CenterREP/The Underpants
Stanford Continuing Studies & Stanford Summer Theater/Miss Julie (this may have been under the radar for a lot of folks, but it wasn't a student production, but rather a month long Equity contract for all three actors)
CalShakes/Hamlet (this production had a female Rosencranz)
SF Playhouse/Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (the count for this show includes 2 boys who alternate playing the child role in the show)

The Stats:
8 male directors, 8 female directors
14 male writers, 2 female writers
119 total actors, 69 male, 50 female
48 union actors, 71 non-union actors
28 union men, 20 union women
108 local actors, 9 non-local

Thank you so much to the actors, audience members, theater staff and production teams who have contributed to this count.  Specifically this month, I'd like to thank Maria Leigh, Anne Hallinan, Michael Gene Sullivan, Carol S. Lashof, Susan Shay, Phoebe Moyer, Kat Zdan (my birthday twin!), and Karen Thompson Hall.

November info will go up between December 1st and 5th.  As mentioned above, the Counting Actors project is at 198 shows.  When I get to 200 shows logged, I'll be able to compile some bigger picture comparisons, similar to what I did back in March 2012, when the project reached 100 shows.  So send in info for shows running now - more info on what goes in the email is here.

Thanks for talking about and sharing this info with your theater friends and colleagues, in either the real or virtual green room, audition waiting room, or at the closing night party.