“All the world’s a stage,” wrote William Shakespeare, and political theater on the hot topic of the minimum wage is playing out in smaller Los Angeles theaters. We’re not talking about minimum wage as the topic of a play, but minimum wage as the subject of who goes on stage.
When the leadership of Actors Equity, the stage actors union, decided to push for a minimum wage for Los Angeles actors who work in 99-seat theaters and smaller, they got pushback from many of the union’s members. The actors feared that forcing the theaters to pay the actors more might force some of the hanging-on-by-their-fingertips theaters to close down.
The debate over raising the minimum wage for the small theaters mirrors the larger debate on minimum wage that is occurring in the country.