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How About This!: ‘Landmark Broadway Deal’ Gives Actors ‘A Piece Of The Profits’

Published Monday, February 11, 2019
by Michael Paulson/The New York Times
How About This!: ‘Landmark Broadway Deal’ Gives Actors ‘A Piece Of The Profits’

(NEW YORK CITY) - Broadway is booming and now more Actors are going to share in the richesIn a groundbreaking agreement, the commercial producers who finance Broadway’s big hits have agreed to give a percentage of profits to Performers who help develop successful shows.

The deal, reached between Actors’ Equity, a Union representing 51,000 Performers and Stage Managers, and the Broadway League, a trade organization for producers, is a milestone - marking the first time that the industry’s financiers have tacitly agreed to acknowledge that Performers are contributing ideas, not just labor, to shaping new musicals and plays.

Hit shows already generate paydays for producers, directors and stars - many of them now will bring steady if modest paychecks to the supporting Actors and Dancers, some of whom still take survival jobs, like waiting tables, between shows.

“Creating a new show is hard,” Actors’ Equity Executive Director Mary McColl said. “If we’re along for that ride at the beginning, for not much money, we think we should be able to share in the success once it has recouped its expenses.”

The deal brings to an endfive-week Strike in which the Union barred its Members from participating in work on major shows in commercial development.

Actors’ Equity said the agreement would split 1% of a Broadway show’s profits among Actors and Stage Managers who took part in development with its producers.

The profit-sharing will last for 10 years and will include money generated by touring productions.

The Union said the agreement also includes a salary increase for Actors and Stage Managers participating in show development.

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