If you’ve ever wondered how much your favorite Broadway artists earn for the work they do, you’re in luck. Thanks to public standard union contracts, we know what the base salary is for Broadway performers, stage managers, and musicians. These minimum rates are only for professionals on Broadway and are calculated by the week since, unlike other vocations who report annual salaries, artists will not necessarily be employed by their Broadway show for a full year. These rates also don’t reflect that many actors pay out a portion of their weekly salary to agents and managers, and of course pay taxes and union dues and fees as well.
Broadway actors have a minimum salary of $2,439 per week, which can increase depending on the role and additional responsibilities.
Stage managers on Broadway earn a base salary of $4,007 per week for musicals and $3,444 per week for plays.
Broadway musicians receive a base salary of $2,143.10 per week, with additional pay for playing multiple instruments.
Performers can negotiate higher rates for principal roles and may receive additional pay for understudying, serving as dance captains, and agreeing to a one-year contract.
Union dues, fees, and expenses for agents and managers are deducted from performers’ salaries.
Broadway Actors’ Earnings
When it comes to the earnings of Broadway actors, the current minimum salary for an Equity performer on Broadway is $2,439 a week. However, this base salary can vary depending on the specific demands of their role. Let’s take a closer look at some factors that can impact an actor’s earnings:
Chorus Roles and Specialties: A chorus role or specialty typically adds $25 to the weekly minimum salary. This is a common practice across Broadway ensembles.
Understudying Roles: Actors who understudy roles are entitled to additional pay. Swings, who understudy multiple ensemble tracks, earn $116.15 over the performer minimum. If an actor is only a partial swing, the additional pay is $20. Understudying principal roles adds $60 to the weekly salary, while understudying chorus roles adds $17.50.
Dance Captains: Musicals often designate performers as dance captains, responsible for knowing and maintaining the show’s choreography. Serving as a dance captain adds $464.60 to the weekly salary, while assistant dance captains earn an additional $232.30.
Fight Captains: In productions with fight choreography, a fight captain is assigned to maintain it. Fight captains receive an extra $100 on their weekly salary.
Chorus Contracts: Actors on a chorus contract have an interesting opportunity to increase their base salary. By agreeing to a one-year rider, committing to stay with the production for a full year, actors earn an additional $80 weekly for the first six months and $40 for the second six months. At the end of the year, if they have remained with the production, they receive a $2,600 bonus.
It’s important to note that the mentioned rates are the minimums, and negotiations can lead to higher salaries, particularly for actors playing principal roles. Additionally, these rates do not include any additional pay that actors may receive for specific circumstances, such as performing as dance captains or understudying.
Below is a breakdown of the additional pay and benefits for various scenarios:
Swing (Multiple Ensemble Tracks)
Understudying Principal Roles
Understudying Chorus Roles
Assistant Dance Captain
As we can see, the earnings of Broadway actors can go beyond the minimum salaries, providing opportunities for growth and financial stability within the industry.
Broadway Stage Managers’ Earnings
Stage managers play a crucial role in the production of Broadway shows, overseeing the technical aspects and ensuring that performances run smoothly. Their expertise and dedication are reflected in their earnings, which are among the highest in the industry.
The base weekly salary for a stage manager working on a Broadway musical is $4,007, while for a play, it is slightly lower at $3,444. Assistant stage managers, who provide invaluable support to the stage manager, earn a minimum of $3,165 for musicals and $2,816 for plays. Some musical productions also have a second assistant stage manager, who receives a minimum weekly salary of $2,645.
These salaries demonstrate the significant responsibilities and the level of expertise required of Broadway stage managers. Their contributions ensure the seamless execution of every performance, contributing to the overall success of the production.
Broadway Stage Managers’ Earnings
Type of Production
Base Weekly Salary
Assistant Stage Managers’ Earnings
Type of Production
Base Weekly Salary
Second Assistant Stage Manager’s Earnings (Musicals)
These earnings are a testament to the professionalism and skill required to excel in the demanding role of a Broadway stage manager.
Broadway Musicians’ Earnings
When it comes to the earnings of Broadway musicians, the base weekly salary is $2,143.10. However, musicians have the opportunity to increase their salary by performing on multiple instruments, a practice commonly known as “doubling.”
For each additional instrument played, musicians receive an increase in their base salary. The first additional instrument earns them an extra $267.89 per week, with an additional $133.95 for each subsequent instrument played. This system allows musicians to showcase their versatility and maximize their earning potential.
Additionally, Broadway conductors play a crucial role in orchestrating the musical performances. The base weekly salary for a conductor on Broadway is $3,750.43. They are responsible for leading the musicians and ensuring a flawless performance each night. The associate conductor, who supports the main conductor, earns a minimum salary of $2,786.04 per week.
It’s important to note that there are also additional situations in which musicians may be required to assume extra responsibilities or make an additional time commitment. In such cases, an increase in the base pay can be negotiated to compensate for the additional workload.
Base Weekly Salary
Negotiations and Additional Pay
While the minimum rates for Broadway performers provide a baseline, it is essential to understand that actors and stage managers have the opportunity to negotiate higher rates, especially when taking on principal roles. The negotiation process allows performers to advocate for their worth and secure fair compensation for their contributions to the production.
Additionally, there are various circumstances in which performers may receive additional pay beyond the minimum rates. Let’s explore some of these situations:
Understudying Roles: Actors who understudy specific roles may be entitled to additional compensation. For understudying principal roles, performers can receive an extra $60 to their weekly salary, while understudying chorus roles adds $17.50 per week.
Serving as a Dance Captain: Dance captains play a crucial role in maintaining the choreography of the show. In recognition of their responsibilities, they receive an additional $464.60 to their weekly salary. Assistant dance captains receive $232.30.
Agreeing to a One-Year Rider: Performers on a chorus contract may choose to sign a one-year rider, committing to stay with the production for the entire year. By doing so, they earn an extra $80 weekly for the first six months and $40 for the second six months. If they successfully complete the year, a bonus of $2,600 is granted.
Through negotiations and these additional pay opportunities, performers have the chance to enhance their income and ensure their hard work and talent are appropriately recognized. Both actors and stage managers can leverage these avenues to improve their financial prospects within the industry.
Comparison of Negotiated Salaries
To provide a comparative overview, here’s a table showcasing the minimum rates for Broadway performers, alongside potential increases through negotiations and additional pay:
Negotiated Increases or Additional Pay
$2,439 per week
Chorus or Specialty Role: +$25 per week
Understudying Principal Role: +$60 per week
Understudying Chorus Role: +$17.50 per week
Serving as Dance Captain: +$464.60 per week
Agreeing to a One-Year Rider: +$80 (first 6 months) or +$40 (second 6 months) per week, plus $2,600 bonus
Broadway Stage Managers
$4,007 per week (musical)
$3,444 per week (play)
Negotiated Increases Vary
This table serves as a general reference and should not be considered an exhaustive list of negotiated salaries. Actual negotiation outcomes may vary for individual performers based on their roles, experience, and other factors.
Image Caption: Broadway performers have the opportunity to negotiate higher rates and receive additional pay.
Union Dues and Fees
As mentioned before, many actors pay out a portion of their weekly salary to agents and managers, and they also have to pay union dues and fees. These expenses vary for each individual performer, making it impossible to include blanket figures in this article. It’s important to note that Broadway union dues and fees contribute to supporting the work and advocacy of performing arts unions, ensuring performers receive fair wages and working conditions.
Broadway performers are typically members of unions such as Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Musicians, or Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. These unions provide support, negotiate contracts, and protect the rights of their members.
By paying union dues and fees, performers contribute to the collective strength and representation that these unions provide. These financial contributions help fund various union activities, including legal support, contract negotiations, and professional development opportunities.
Moreover, union membership often entails additional benefits for performers, such as access to healthcare, retirement plans, and opportunities for networking and career advancement within the industry.
Benefits of Paying Union Dues and Fees
Access to legal support and protection against unfair treatment
Representation in contract negotiations for improved wages and working conditions
Healthcare and retirement benefits
Networking and career development opportunities
Advocacy for performers’ rights and fair treatment
Wage Validity and Schedule
The minimum rates for actors and stage managers on Broadway are valid as of December 19, 2022, and are scheduled to remain in effect through September 25, 2023. It’s important to note that after this period, most of these rates will see a slight increase. For musicians on Broadway, the current pay rates are valid as of March 6, 2023, and are scheduled to remain unchanged until March 10, 2024.
To give you a clearer picture of the wages in the industry, let’s break it down further:
Valid Rates (December 19, 2022 – September 25, 2023)
Actor (Equity performer)
$2,439 per week*
Stage Manager (Musical)
$4,007 per week
Stage Manager (Play)
$3,444 per week
Assistant Stage Manager (Musical)
$3,165 per week
Assistant Stage Manager (Play)
$2,816 per week
$2,143.10 per week*
*Base rates. Additional pay may apply based on specific roles and responsibilities.
It’s important to keep in mind that these minimum rates reflect the standard union contracts and serve as a baseline. Negotiations can lead to higher rates, particularly for principal roles. Furthermore, additional pay can be earned through understudying roles, serving as a dance captain, or participating in a one-year rider agreement.
Now that you have a better understanding of the Broadway wage validity and schedule, let’s explore further insights from union documents in the next section.
Insights from Union Documents
The data on actors’ and stage managers’ salaries comes from documents available to members of the Actors’ Equity Association, which is the union representing actors and stage managers. These documents provide valuable insights into the financial side of the Broadway industry, shedding light on the compensation received by performers.
By accessing Broadway union documents, we can confirm the accuracy of the figures presented in this article. The Actors’ Equity Association ensures transparency in reporting salaries, allowing professionals in the industry to have a clear understanding of the compensation standards and negotiate fair wages.
These union documents not only benefit performers but also contribute to a more informed and equitable industry. By sharing this information, we hope to highlight the value of pay transparency and encourage further discussions surrounding fair compensation for Broadway performers.
Transparence and Pay Reporting
Pay transparency plays a crucial role in understanding the financial dynamics of the Broadway industry. While some organizations may decline to disclose specific pay figures, gaining insights into the base salaries and potential additional earnings of Broadway performers is invaluable.
Actor salaries in the industry depend on various factors such as the nature of their role, understudy responsibilities, and additional tasks like serving as dance captains or agreeing to long-term contracts. By exploring these elements, we can grasp a better understanding of how performers’ compensation can vary and appreciate the nuances of their financial compensation.
Having access to information about actor salaries allows aspiring artists, industry professionals, and the public to understand the economic realities of being a Broadway performer. It fosters transparency, promotes informed conversations about fair compensation, and helps actors negotiate better terms to secure their livelihood in the competitive world of Broadway.
How much do Broadway actors earn?
The current minimum salary for an Equity performer on Broadway is $2,439 a week, with potential additional pay for specific roles and responsibilities.
What is the minimum salary for stage managers on Broadway?
The base weekly salary for a stage manager working on a Broadway musical is $4,007, and $3,444 for a play, with variations for assistant stage managers.
How much do musicians make on Broadway?
The base weekly salary for a musician on Broadway is $2,143.10, with additional compensation for playing multiple instruments.
Can actors negotiate higher salaries?
Yes, actors and stage managers have the ability to negotiate higher rates, especially for principal roles.
Are there additional pay opportunities for Broadway performers?
Yes, performers can receive additional pay for understudying roles, serving as dance captains, and agreeing to a one-year contract.
How much do Broadway performers pay in union dues and fees?
The specific figures for union dues and fees can vary for every individual performer.
How long are the current wage rates valid?
The minimum wage rates for Broadway actors and stage managers are valid from December 19, 2022, to September 25, 2023, while musician rates are valid from March 6, 2023, to March 10, 2024.
Where does the data on salaries come from?
The data on actors’ and stage managers’ salaries comes from documents available to members of the Actors’ Equity Association, which is the union representing actors and stage managers.
Why is pay transparency important?
Pay transparency provides valuable insights into the financial side of the Broadway industry and promotes fairness and accountability.
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