Reader's view: Pay for local actors began well before 2008
I would like to point out some inaccuracies in the June 22 article about paying local actors for their time and skills ("Duluth Playhouse to pay actors"). When mentioning Renegade Comedy Theatre, the story stated the company started paying actors...
I would like to point out some inaccuracies in the June 22 article about paying local actors for their time and skills ("Duluth Playhouse to pay actors"). When mentioning Renegade Comedy Theatre, the story stated the company started paying actors in February 2008, implying the
theater company did not pay actors before that date. That was entirely not true.
When I started Renegade back in December 1991, we spent the first few years splitting up the profits of shows with everyone involved in the productions -- actors, techies, etc. When Renegade moved into the Holiday Center in 1997, I made sure our improvisational comedians were paid an hourly wage because they put in so much time and effort every weekend. Whenever Renegade entertained audiences for corporate gigs over the years, we paid all the actors involved, as well.
At one point, in the late 1990s, I did some checking and discovered Renegade had paid more than 100 people in its short existence, which wasn't too shabby for a
theater company that never had a permanent home up to that point.
My new theater company, Rubber Chicken Theater, has been fortunate enough to pay people for a few shows. "Bushed," for instance, our original musical written by Barton Sutter and produced last October, was able to compensate actors for their time because of the great response we had with both our audience turnout and our sponsorships. Our recent production of "Humpty Dumpty," an original script by Chani Ninneman, also received a grant which enabled us to compensate the actors for their time and talents.
I think it is fantastic that actors continue to be compensated for their skills. They are vital to the success of any production.
The writer is executive producer of Rubber Chicken Theater.