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January 4, 2005


Actors' Equity Association, the national union of professional stage Actors and Stage Managers, has released its 2004 Report detailing the earnings, employment cycles and membership patterns for the more than 45,000 Equity members. This comprehensive review follows the economic and employment trends during the 2003-2004 season, which runs from June to May.

The report is divided into four sections, each with graphs and charts. The sections summarize membership, employment, earnings, and financial data. Among the findings are:

  • Overall employment remains steady. The report showed 288,282 workweeks in 2003-2004 – essentially the same as the prior season

  • Employment statistics show 17, 582 members were employed on an Equity contract during the season. In any given week, 5,689 actors and stage managers were employed.

  • Broadway and the Road showed significant improvement. Production Contract employment jumped by 5.6% to 69,578, translating to a 2.6% jump on Broadway (or 42,791 workweeks). After a seven-year decline on the Road, tours showed an uptick with a 10.9% jump or 26,787 workweeks. (At the same time, there was an increase in non-Equity tours as well.)

  • Overall member earnings reached a nationwide annual total of $290,271,713 – a 9.7% increase over last season. Of those working members, 42% earned $5,000 or less while only 5% earned $75,000 or greater.

  • The study shows a member concentration in the top three cities: 15,654 members live in New York; 7,557 members reside in Los Angeles and 1,355 in Chicago.

Actors' Equity Association, founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United Stages. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.

For a complete copy of the study, please contact the Actors’ Equity Communication Department at 212-869-8530 or click on the following link:

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