Show Business: Stage-Struck

Manhattan's off-Broadway theater is a crucible of experimentation and a museum for the classics of the American stage. But off-Broadway is not supported by arts foundations or by individual philanthropists. It is subsidized—inadvertently—by the actors who perform there. The minimum for most of its casts is a pitiable $75 a week.

For nearly two months, Actors' Equity has been trying to improve that dismal old scale. After negotiations over contract renewal finally broke down briefly last week, the union called a strike that closed down 16 off-Broadway shows.* Among the strikers were Geraldine Page and her husband, Rip Torn, who interrupted previews...

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