Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Drama News | Black and White and (Bled) All Over

Can Illegal Immigrants Save Us?

(Effron Alvarez is an illegal immigrant and star of Guys and Dolls)

Theaters have not made significant profits since 1988, a problem related to burgeoning film & television industry. In 2002, many directors decided to cut the wages of actors and stage managers, down to an average $234 a week. But there is a new trend developing in states like Texas and California: illegal immigrants instead of professionals from the Actor's Equity Association (AEA). Aye Dios Mio!
The move is risky, but audiences don't seem to mind or notice the illegal immigrants. It's an odd occurance since the immigrants are in leading roles and don't speak English. Bea Neiman, a regular theatergoer at age 91, says that she can't hear too well and didn't even notice the change until she was told by our reporters. This seems to be commonplace since the average theatergoer age is 102. She also says that the quality of shows has been better...
Profits are at an all time high for these theaters, especially since they only have to pay these new actors $0.10 an hour. However, laid-off actors are furious and demand action from the AEA (Now located in Iran.) The AEA was asked for a comment, but they didn't speak English. It's another case of big money for producers, chump change for talent.

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