Reading this interesting news of a payraise for English actors prompted me to finally go trolling around the American Equity website to see if the salary info from the standard contracts is easily accessible online. It is.
There are many, many different kinds of contracts--different regions, venue sizes, profit/nonprofit, etc. But here are the figures (the minimums) for just the three kinds of theatre presentations I myself end up seeing the most.
-Broadway: The generic sounding "Production Agreement" says $1465 a week.
-Commercial Off Broadway: Depends on the number of seats in the theatre.
$506 (100 - 199 seats)-League of Resident Theatres (LORT)
$592 (200 - 250 seats)
$689 (251 - 299 seats)
$792 (300 - 350 seats)
$890 (351 - 499 seats)
The LORT theatres are basically our professional "regional theatres." But it also includes most of NYC's professional nonprofit companies (those not operating on "Showcase" code). I say "most" since the exceptions--Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Company, and Lincoln Center Theatre--each have their own individual LORT riders(!) which are so byzantine I can't even get into them. Let's just say the actors at those places make closer to Broadway levels.
But as for the rest, here are salary minimums according to the LORT catagories of theatres, which is determined by average weekly ticket sales:
$816 LORT A ($110,000.00+)So, what do I conclude from all this? Not sure yet. But if you start multiplying these figures by 52--and then ask yourself how many actors work 52 weeks a year--you may learn something...
$769 LORT B ($110,000.00+)
$714 LORT B ($70,000.00-$109,999.99)
$663 LORT C ($45,000.00 to $69,999.99)
$536 LORT D ($44,999.99 and below)