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Mother Play – Broadway Cast Earnings and Salary



Are you curious about the earnings and salaries of the cast members involved in the hit Broadway play Mother Play? In this article, we will explore the factors that determine the cast earnings and shed light on the financial aspects of working in the Broadway theater industry. Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply interested in the world of performing arts, this article will provide valuable insights into the financial side of Broadway performances.

Key Takeaways:

The minimum scale salary for Broadway actors is determined by the Actors’ Equity Association.
Additional assignments such as understudying and specialty parts can increase an actor’s salary.
Overscale additions and profit participation clauses can also impact salaries.
Broadway actors generally earn higher salaries than actors in Off-Broadway equity theaters.
The number of working actors in the United States is substantial, with various sectors of the industry employing actors.

Actors’ Equity Association Agreement and Salary Increases

The salaries of Broadway actors are determined by the Actors’ Equity Association, which negotiates a universal agreement that covers the entire Broadway industry. This agreement sets the minimum salaries for Broadway actors and includes provisions for salary increases. (Actors’ Equity Association, minimum salaries, salary increases)

The agreement is updated every few years to ensure that salaries keep pace with industry standards and economic conditions. Each update includes retroactive increases in minimum salaries to account for the time that has lapsed since the previous update. (minimum salaries, salary increases)

The most recent agreement, which went into effect in 2019, included a significant increase in minimum salaries. The minimum scale salary on Broadway and full production tours received a 12.57% increase. This means that Broadway actors can expect salary increases ranging from 6% to 12% on increments. (Broadway actor salaries, salary increases)

Factors Influencing Broadway Actor Salaries

When it comes to determining the salaries of Broadway actors, several factors come into play. Let’s take a closer look at some of the main influences:

Overscale Additions

One of the key factors that can significantly impact a Broadway actor’s salary is the inclusion of overscale additions. These are additional amounts added to an actor’s base salary at the discretion of the producers. Often, overscale additions are offered to leads or stars of the show in recognition of their prominence and drawing power. These additional earnings can make a substantial difference in an actor’s total compensation.

Profit Participation

Another important consideration is profit participation. Broadway stars, particularly those with significant name recognition and drawing power, often negotiate profit participation clauses in their contracts. This means that they receive a percentage of the weekly box office receipts, in addition to their base salary. As the show’s success increases and ticket sales soar, so does the actor’s income. Profit participation can be a lucrative addition to an actor’s earnings.

Experience and Popularity

The level of experience an actor possesses and their popularity or star power can also have a significant impact on their salary. Experienced actors who have established themselves in the industry can often command higher salaries due to their track record and reputation. Similarly, actors who have a strong following or are widely recognized by audiences may negotiate higher compensation based on their value and demand.

These factors, along with the success of the show itself, contribute to the determination of a Broadway actor’s salary. Now, let’s take a closer look at how these factors compare in a table:

Factors Influencing Broadway Actor Salaries
Impact on Salary

Overscale Additions
Significant impact, particularly for leads or stars of the show.

Profit Participation
Potentially substantial increase based on the success of the show and ticket sales.

Experience and Popularity
Higher compensation for experienced actors and those with a strong following or recognition.

Show Success
Successful shows often translate to higher salaries for actors.

As you can see, there are various factors at play when it comes to the salaries of Broadway actors. The combination of overscale additions, profit participation, experience, and show success can create a wide range of earnings for these talented performers.

Minimum Scale, Media Fee, and Additional Assignments

When it comes to the salaries of Broadway actors, there are various factors that contribute to their earnings beyond the minimum scale salary. Let’s explore some of these additional sources of income and opportunities for Broadway actors:

Minimum Scale Salary

The minimum scale salary for Broadway actors, as set by the Actors’ Equity Association, was $1,861 per week as of September 29, 2014. This baseline salary provides a foundation for actors’ earnings and ensures fair compensation for their work on stage.

Media Fee

In addition to their base salary, Broadway actors may also receive a media fee. This fee allows producers to use the actors’ images for promotional purposes, such as posters, advertisements, and online marketing campaigns. The media fee provides actors with an additional source of income that reflects the commercial value of their image and the impact it has on promoting the production.

Additional Assignments

Beyond their main roles, Broadway actors may have the opportunity to take on additional assignments that can increase their earnings. These assignments can include understudying, swing parts, dance captaincy, and specialty roles. Each additional assignment may come with its own increment, allowing actors to earn extra income based on the specific responsibilities and demands of the role.

The amount earned from these additional assignments can vary depending on the assignment itself. For example, principal understudies and dance captains often earn more than other ensemble parts due to the increased responsibilities and demands of their roles. This provides actors with the opportunity to showcase their versatility and expertise while also earning a higher salary.

Overall, these additional income streams, including the media fee and various assignments, allow Broadway actors to earn a salary that reflects their talent, dedication, and the contributions they make to the success of a production.

Term Contracts and Ensemble Member Additions

In addition to the baseline salary, Broadway actors have the opportunity to earn additional weekly pay through term contracts and ensemble member additions. These incentives are designed to provide stability and encourage long-term commitments to a production.

Term Contracts:

Actors who have term contracts, which bind them to a specific length of time without any options to leave, may receive an extra payment called a term contract increment. This increment is typically offered to principals only and can amount to approximately $200 per week.

Ensemble Member Additions:

Ensemble members, who sign an initial six-month rider that extends their contract for an additional six months, may receive an extra $80 per week. This allows producers to reward the commitment and dedication of ensemble members who contribute to the overall success of the production.

The term contracts and ensemble member additions provide financial stability and incentives for Broadway actors, ensuring their ongoing support and dedication to the production.

Broadway Cast Salaries vs. Off-Broadway Equity Theater Salaries

When it comes to salaries, there’s a notable difference between Broadway actors and those in Off-Broadway equity theaters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Off-Broadway equity theater actors earn a minimum of $1,145.70 per week, while Broadway actors earn a minimum of $2,034.00 per week. These figures suggest that Broadway actors generally enjoy higher salaries compared to their Off-Broadway counterparts.

The disparity in salaries can be attributed to several factors. One key factor is the financial scale of Broadway productions. Broadway shows typically have larger budgets and higher ticket prices, allowing for more substantial compensation for actors. Off-Broadway equity theaters often operate on smaller budgets and have lower ticket prices, which directly impacts the actors’ salaries.

It’s worth mentioning that salaries can vary within both Broadway and Off-Broadway. Specific productions, an actor’s experience, demand, and the success of the show can all affect the compensation offered. Additionally, the Actors’ Equity Association negotiates and sets minimum salaries for both Broadway and Off-Broadway actors, ensuring that actors are fairly compensated within their respective shows.

Image alt text: Broadway vs. Off-Broadway

The Number of Working Actors in the United States

In 2016, the United States had a total of approximately 63,800 working actors. These individuals form a vital part of the theater industry and contribute to the vibrant performing arts culture across the country.

Of the working actors in the United States, 26% were self-employed, showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit and independence of many actors. Another 13% were employed by theater companies and dinner theaters, taking part in a wide range of productions and performances.

A smaller percentage of working actors, about 5%, found employment in professional, scientific, and technical services. This category includes actors who work in areas such as film, television, and advertising. Additionally, 4% of actors were employed by colleges, universities, and professional schools, indicating their involvement in educational settings.

These figures highlight the diverse sectors in which working actors in the United States are employed, demonstrating their contribution to the entertainment industry and the wider society.

Job Growth and Stability for Theater Actors

While the need for actors in television, films, and online productions is expected to grow faster than most jobs, the picture is less optimistic for theater actors. Many smaller theaters have experienced funding cuts, which can impact the availability of acting jobs. However, larger and well-known venues continue to provide a relatively stable number of acting jobs. It’s important to note that the competition for theater acting jobs can be intense, and actors must audition for each role, making their salaries and job prospects unpredictable.

Challenges in Job Growth

Theater actors face certain challenges in terms of job growth due to various factors. One of the main challenges is the funding cuts faced by smaller theaters. These theaters often rely on grants and donations, which can be inconsistent and limited in nature. As a result, they may have to reduce the number of productions or cast members, leading to fewer acting opportunities.

Another challenge is the increasing popularity of digital media platforms, such as streaming services, which has shifted audience attention away from traditional theater. As a result, the demand for theater actors may not be as high as the demand for actors in television, films, and online productions.

Stability in Larger Venues

Despite the challenges, larger and well-known venues offer a relatively stable number of acting jobs. These venues usually have higher budgets and a dedicated audience base, allowing them to produce multiple shows throughout the year. They are often able to attract top talent and provide consistent employment opportunities for theater actors.

In addition, these larger venues may offer longer-running productions, which provide actors with more job security. When a show runs for an extended period, actors are afforded a steady income and the assurance of continued work.

The Importance of Auditions

One crucial aspect of theater acting jobs is the audition process. Unlike other forms of entertainment where actors may be offered roles without auditions, theater actors are required to audition for each role they are interested in. This means that their salaries and job prospects are heavily dependent on their audition performance and the casting decisions made by directors and producers.

Actors must continuously hone their audition skills and be prepared to compete with a large pool of talent. This competitive nature of the industry can make it challenging to predict or guarantee a steady stream of acting jobs for theater actors.

Salary Prospects

The salary prospects for theater actors can vary widely and are dependent on factors such as the production’s budget, the actor’s experience and demand, and the type of role they are cast in. However, it’s important to note that entry-level salaries for theater actors may be modest, and it can take time to build a successful and financially stable career in the industry.

Factors Influencing Salary Prospects

$48,130 per year
$30,000 – $65,000 per year

$50,677 per year
$40,000 – $70,000 per year

$54,000 per year
$45,000 – $75,000 per year

Education and Training for Theater Actors

While formal education is not required to become an actor, many aspiring actors choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theater to gain a well-rounded understanding of acting and to gain experience in performing a variety of roles. Additional training, such as dance and accent classes, can also help actors develop their skills. However, it’s important to note that gaining practical experience through actual performances is often considered more valuable than classroom education alone.

Here are some important aspects of education and training for aspiring theater actors:

Coursework: Theater degree programs typically include coursework in acting techniques, voice and speech, movement, theater history, and script analysis. Students also have the opportunity to explore other aspects of theater production, such as stage management, lighting design, and costume design.
Performance Opportunities: Theater programs often provide students with numerous opportunities to perform in front of live audiences. This allows actors-in-training to apply their skills, experiment with different acting styles, and build confidence on stage.
Workshops and Masterclasses: Many theater schools offer workshops and masterclasses conducted by industry professionals. These sessions provide valuable insights, new perspectives, and practical advice for aspiring actors.
Internships and Apprenticeships: Some theater programs offer internships and apprenticeships with professional theater companies. These opportunities allow students to work alongside experienced actors and gain firsthand experience in a professional theater setting.

While formal education provides a solid foundation, ongoing training and development are essential for actors throughout their careers. Even established actors continue to take classes, workshops, and private coaching sessions to refine their skills and stay up to date with industry trends.

Pros of Formal Education
Cons of Formal Education

Provides a comprehensive understanding of acting techniques and theater history.
Offers opportunities to network and collaborate with fellow students and faculty members.
Provides access to performance venues and resources.
May increase credibility and marketability in the industry.

Can be expensive, requiring tuition fees.
Does not guarantee success or employment in the industry.
May limit opportunities for practical, hands-on experience.
May not focus on individual career goals or interests.

Hours and Work Schedule for Theater Actors

Theater actors have unique work hours and schedules that differ from traditional nine-to-five jobs. The nature of their profession requires flexibility and adaptability to accommodate the demands of the theatrical industry. Here’s a closer look at the typical hours and work schedule of theater actors:


Rehearsals are a fundamental aspect of preparing for a theater production. They are typically held in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate actors’ availability. During rehearsals, actors work closely with directors, fellow cast members, and production teams to perfect their performances. These sessions involve memorizing lines, blocking scenes, learning cues, practicing choreography, and collaborating on character development.

Performance Schedule:

The performance schedule varies depending on the production and the theater. Broadway shows typically have performances six days a week, with Mondays being the designated day off. Amateur and regional theaters often have weekend matinees and evening performances throughout the week. For actors involved in touring shows, they may travel to different cities and perform for extended periods, requiring them to be on the road for several months at a time.

Additional Work Obligations:

Aside from rehearsals and performances, theater actors may have additional work obligations related to their role. This can include promotional appearances, media interviews, photo shoots, and attending industry events. These obligations might be scheduled during the day, depending on the production’s marketing and publicity requirements.

Work-Life Balance:

Theater actors often experience irregular work hours, with their schedules heavily influenced by the rehearsal and performance demands of the production. Balancing work commitments with personal life can be challenging, especially during intensive rehearsal periods and show runs. It requires effective time management and a supportive network to navigate the demands of the profession.

Despite the irregularity of their work hours, theater actors are passionate about their craft and committed to delivering memorable performances to audiences. This dedication to their art fuels their motivation to juggle the demands of their profession while maintaining a fulfilling work-life balance.

Next, let’s take a closer look at how salary and compensation for theater actors are influenced by various factors in the industry.

Factors Influencing Work Hours and Schedule for Theater Actors

Rehearsals held in the evenings and on weekends

Varying performance schedules based on production and theater

Additional work obligations such as promotional appearances and media interviews

Traveling shows requiring actors to be on the road for extended periods

Challenges in balancing work commitments with personal life

Salaries Based on Experience and Career Progression

Salaries for theater actors can vary widely based on their experience and career progression. Entry-level actors can expect to earn an average of around $48,130 per year, while those in mid-career may see their salaries increase to approximately $50,677 per year. As actors gain more experience and recognition in the industry, their earnings can further grow, with experienced theater actors earning up to about $54,000 annually.

It’s important to note that these salary figures are averages and can be influenced by various factors. The actor’s talent, demand for their skills, and the success of their productions can all impact their earning potential. Additionally, certain high-profile actors or performers with a strong track record may command even higher salaries, while others may earn less depending on their individual circumstances.

As theater actors progress in their careers, their salaries are often reflective of their increased expertise and value. Opportunities for salary growth can come through securing larger, more prominent roles, signing long-term contracts with established theaters, or participating in successful productions that generate higher revenue. Investing in ongoing training, expanding their network of industry contacts, and continuously honing their craft can all contribute to the career progression and potential earnings of theater actors.


How are the earnings and salaries of the Mother Play Broadway cast determined?

The earnings and salaries of the Mother Play Broadway cast are determined by the Actors’ Equity Association.

What was the minimum scale salary for Broadway actors as of September 29, 2014?

The minimum scale salary for Broadway actors as of September 29, 2014, was $1,861 per week.

What factors can influence the salaries of Broadway actors?

Factors such as overscale additions, profit participation, experience, show success, and popularity can influence the salaries of Broadway actors.

Are there additional fees or assignments that can increase the earnings of Broadway actors?

Yes, Broadway actors may receive additional fees for media usage and can earn extra increments for assignments such as understudying, swing parts, dance captaincy, and specialty roles.

What are term contracts and how do they affect Broadway actor salaries?

Term contracts lock actors into a specific length of time with no outs and may include additional pay called term contract increments. These increments are typically added to the salaries of principal actors.

How do Broadway actor salaries compare to Off-Broadway equity theater salaries?

Broadway actors generally earn higher salaries than actors in Off-Broadway equity theaters. The minimum weekly salary for Broadway actors is $2,034.00, while Off-Broadway equity theater actors earn a minimum of $1,145.70 per week.

How many working actors are there in the United States?

In 2016, there were approximately 63,800 working actors in the United States.

Is job growth and stability positive for theater actors?

While job growth for theater actors is expected to be faster than average in television, films, and online productions, the picture is less optimistic for theater actors due to funding cuts in smaller theaters. Larger and well-known venues continue to provide a relatively stable number of acting jobs.

Is a formal education required to become a theater actor?

No, formal education is not required to become a theater actor, but many choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theater to gain a well-rounded understanding of acting and gain experience in performing a variety of roles.

What is the work schedule like for theater actors?

Theater actors have irregular work hours, with rehearsals typically taking place in the evenings and on weekends. The work schedule is dictated by the performance schedule of the production in which they are involved.

How do salaries for theater actors increase based on experience and career progression?

Entry-level theater actors can expect to earn around $48,130 per year, while mid-career actors may earn around $50,677 per year. Experienced theater actors can earn up to approximately $54,000 per year.

The post Mother Play – Broadway Cast Earnings and Salary appeared first on Zac Johnson.

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