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Off Broadway Shows in NYC: An Actor's Dream Job

Off Broadway shows are so often overlooked by actors in NYC who are searching for work. But the truth? It's probably the best gig you could ask for. So what gives?

Plenty of actors make a full-time living by working off Broadway. Here's what you need to know...

What's an Off Broadway Show?

Any theatre with a seating capacity between 99 and 499 is generally considered "off-Broadway". The theatre can be anywhere in Manhattan. (Not only in the Theatre District.)

The Equity minimum for an off-Broadway house ranges from $539 to $957 per week, depending on how many seats. The more seats, the more money.

Off Broadway Shows

4 Reasons to Work an Off Broadway Show

  1. 1. Some shows run forever. What do shows like STOMP, Forbidden Broadway, Blue Man Group, and Tony & Tina's Wedding all have in common? They've all clocked more than 2,000 performances. The Fantasticks holds the record: 42 years, or 17,162 performances. How's that for job security?

  2. 2. Work with big-time actors. You know what they say: Feature films feed the kids, but theatre feeds the soul. Lots of movie stars do off Broadway shows: Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Frances MacDormand, and Ethan Hawke, just to name a few currently treading the boards...

  3. 3. You can sleep in your own bed. Stop auditioning for those fifteen month tours across America. Stay in New York and do some quality theatre instead.

  4. 4. Movin' on up, to the Theatre District. You have a chance of moving to Broadway. Which means better production quality, more exposure, and more money in your pocket. It happened to A Chorus Line, Avenue Q, Spring Awakening, In The Heights, and Urinetown, among others.

With all those benefits, what actor wouldn't want to work off Broadway? And of course, it that doesn't work out, there's always off-off Broadway shows....

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