'Hamilton' Producers and Cast Strike Deal to Share Profits
The original stars of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit will now earn royalties for the roles they helped to develop in the historical bio-musical.
The agreement between both parties was announced by Ronald H. Shechtman, a lawyer who represents a number of actors, dancers and other stage performers involved in the Hamilton production. In a statement obtained by the Times, Schechtman clarified that actors will now be offered some of "the profit stream from the play."
The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that the hip-hop musical grosses about $1.5 million weekly in ticket sales, with 40 percent of that going toward renting the Richard Rodgers Theatre, covering salaries and other miscellaneous expenses. As the musical's sole author, Miranda receives a 7 percent cut of the gross in weekly royalties (on top of his salary for starring as Alexander Hamilton), while producers Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman split a 3 percent share, plus a weekly $3,000 administrative office fee.
Though no further details have been disclosed, the deal could spark a wider discussion about profit-sharing throughout the theater industry, on shows such as Disney's upcoming Frozen musical. Members of Actors' Equity, a labor union representing theater performers and stage managers, are rallying against the lack of added compensation for actors originating their roles in other productions in light of Hamilton's settlement news.
The precedent for profit-sharing among the original cast can be traced back to shows like A Chorus Line, Rent and, more recently, The Book of Mormon. Attention surrounding the Hamilton deal means actors may now more frequently request a seat at the negotiating table when taking roles in developing musicals.
Since beginning performances at the Richard Rodgers in July, Hamilton has grossed $63.5 million and has the highest advance ticket sales in Broadway history.