When it comes to Queensland Theatre Company’s production of An Oak Tree, things get a bit tricky. An Oak Tree included appearances by 1 male actor and 23 guest actors (10 M; 13 F) in the same role across the season. Each guest appeared in one performance only. 11 other actors (8 M; 3F) played the role during the rehearsal period.
The guest figures for this production appear in the first chart (below) Comparative Chart (i) even though they represent the equivalent of a casual rather than a seasonal acting engagement in a programmed production.
Comparative Chart (ii) (below) excludes the guest actor figures for An Oak Tree.
Any errors or omissions, please let us know.
A much better and fuller picture of employment of actors would include figures for other independent productions. Whilst this would be problematical as a ‘living-wage’ employment statistic (most indie productions are stipend or fee-based, deferred payment or non-waged) it would give a sense of how many performance opportunities are being made available for female actors, which is where this conversation began.
These quarterly reports do not include other casual employment for actors, such as play-readings, workshops and other creative development activities by both companies
Just for your information, the National Minimum Wage in Australia as of July 2011 is set at $589.30 per week or $15.51 per hour. Source: ASU National Net
To see what your union has negotiated as minimum rates of pay for professional work, you can download a pdf file of the 2010 Equity Minimums from the MEAA website Alliance Online.
When subsidised theatre companies announce their seasons for the year, one of the hottest topics around relates to an industrial issue – employment opportunities. Whilst there is also great interest in what shows will be produced, it’s the jobs and casting that draw the attention of a city’s artists and creatives. As to the issue of gender equity in role opportunities – 2011 is not a good year for female actors in Brisbane.
The 2011 mainstage season plays for both Brisbane subsidised companies have more male roles – considerably more – than female. Whilst employment in a mainstage production is not the whole picture for a professional theatre actor – there are other job opportunities in the sector from play readings, teaching, touring in educational programs and from non-award waged engagement in various independent projects in the city – there is no doubt that a contract for a show produced by QTC or La Boite is highly prized. Gender-blind casting notwithstanding, it became clear early on that there were going to be far more jobs for the boys this year at QTC and La Boite. Continue reading Jobs for the girls? Logging the stats
As promised in the last post, here are the first of some stats as they relate to the 2011 programmed seasons of both Brisbane’s subsidised, professional theatre companies. This post is the first in a series for Greenroom’s readers, and forms part of my ongoing research into professional theatre in Queensland. I have used data relating to both company’s programmed works as it appears in published brochures or online: mainstage, education, studio, and ‘indie’ presenting partnerships. This work picks up on some research I did last year which related to the first 10 and the last 10 years of the repertoire for Queensland Theatre Company. You can check that out here and here on my personal blog. From this year I’ve included La Boite’s programming under current AD David Berthold.