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Theater community debates whether stage actors should be paid minimum wage




A view of the Palace Theatre at Lucent Dossier Experience's Show celebrating the 100th birthday and recent renovation of the historic Palace Theatre July 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
A view of the Palace Theatre at Lucent Dossier Experience's Show celebrating the 100th birthday and recent renovation of the historic Palace Theatre July 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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Los Angeles has a rich theater scene, beyond the major productions at the Ahmanson, Taper, Geffen, and Pasadena Playhouse. For years, 99-seat and smaller theaters have given actors and playwrights a chance to work and to receive valuable audience feedback.

These small theaters have been able to cast union members of Actors Equity and avoid paying them the scale rate that larger theaters have to pay.  Equity actors often receive just $7 a performance at these little houses. However, some Equity members are unhappy with that. They want actors and other theater personnel to be paid at least minimum wage for the hours they perform and rehearse. What impact would that have on LA theater?

Guest: 

Doug Clayton, actor, director, writer, producer and long-term member of the Los Angeles theater community

Bill Brochtrup, actor and artistic director of Antaeus, an actors collective in North Hollywood