Low-Wage America: Outdoor Theatre in Xenia, Ohio

Performing the Perennial 'Blue Jacket' for Summer Crowds

Actors Kate McFarland, left, and R.M. Lane

Actors Kate McFarland, left, and R.M. Lane both make about $190 a week performing the play Blue Jacket to summer crowds in an outdoor theater in Xenia, Ohio. Noah Adams, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Noah Adams, NPR

NPR's Noah Adams reports on the life of actors in Xenia, Ohio. Blue Jacket is a long-running outdoor drama that tells the story of the conflict between the Native American Shawnee and the white settlers who came into the Ohio Valley in the late 1700s.

Adams talks with actors Kate McFarland and R.M. Lane, who each earn $190 a week. Housing is provided, but many of the cast members find it tough to get through the summer season on such low wages.

Still, the actors say it's a professional acting credit, great fun and a chance to learn more about their craft.

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