CHAPTER 15 (Actors)
Broadway proudly claims a diverse membership of actors. Equity has just released its nationwide“ethnic distribution” numbers from 2013-2015. Without adding commentary, the numbers speak for themselves.
Equity has 50.920 members.
Women represent 49.5% of Equity’s total membership, with an average age of 46.7 years old.
Men represent 50.5% of Equity’s total membership, with an average age of 48.3 years old.
Membership is divided as follows: 68% Caucasian, 7.5% African-American, 3.6% two or more races, 2.5% Hispanic/Latino, 2.2% Asian, .2% Pacific Islander, less than .1% American Indian. (16% did not list their ethnicity/race).
Actors were hired as follows:
61% of principal acting contracts went to men.
71% of principal acting contracts went to Caucasians.
74% of stage management contracts went to Caucasians.
A majority of stage management contracts went to women (but at significantly lower salaries)
Quoting Actors’ Equity in their report: “The study raises questions about how we measure progress. Last season (2017-18), shows like The Color Purple, Shuffle Along, On Your Feet and Hamilton made it seem like diversity issues on Broadway were solved. But how do we move, as an industry to a place where there are more roles for women and people of color in all productions?”
CHAPTER 15 (Actors)
NEW SALARIES AND RULES FOR ACTORS & STAGE MANAGERS EFFECTIVE AS SOON AS THE VOTE IS IN (NOVEMBER 2019??): The Broadway League and Actors’ Equity Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. Among the changes, the new contract provides Equity members 3.5% annual increases to minimum weekly salaries, as well as increases to 401(k) contributions and media fees.
For new productions, the contract now stipulates that “swings” cannot be assigned to cover more than 10 ensemble tracks. It also creates a new position, “Temporary Assistant Stage Manager” to work on larger musicals that open cold using the production contract from the beginning of pre-production through opening.
Productions that have announced a closing date no longer have to hold required Equity principal audition replacement calls. There are also clarifications to who qualifies for chorus rider outs and for additional salary payments for ninth performances.
CHAPTER 13 (Box Office); CHAPTER 10 (Producing)
Many show producers now introduce the ticket lottery system (last minute online sales) to their Broadway productions only as a cheap way to increase the show’s marketing and ultimately increase profits. For the less popular shows, they use the lottery as a way to finish filling up the rest of their theatre’s unsold seats, without having to resort to seat-fillers, which can damage their brand and reduce the likelihood that these patrons will ever buy a full price ticket the next time. Many of today’s Broadway show lottery ticket prices have increased significantly.
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