Although I didn’t really catch any of the conference on Saturday, there are a few thoughts and loose ends for me to wrap up. I did some more research on the Theatre Artist Survey I talked about on Friday. I also wanted to describe a great conversation I had with Michael Seel, executive director at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, which produces not only plays and musicals but also a new concert series featuring local composers and cutting-edge music artists.
When compared to other professions in the field, theatre composers make an average annual income of approximately $40K, which is on the high end of theatre professionals (roughly equivalent to the average directors and designers). The professions with lower income levels were, not surprisingly, actors and dancers. I don’t recall seeing musicians in the income spectrum—I wonder if most gigging musicians on Broadway or elsewhere would call themselves “theatre professionals”, even the ones who spend most of their time in the pit.
A few of us in the audience asked if there were opportunities in their organizations for creators of theater who are not playwrights (i.e. composers, choreographers, etc.). The members of the panel were surprised by the question, but open to the idea that theatrical works might be instigated by folks other than writers of words.