Are You Making More Money Than THERESE RAQUIN's Keira Knightley? You May Be Surprised

It's no secret that stars on Broadway are making significantly less money than they do when appearing in a weekly sitcom or a major motion picture, but even that amount decreases substantially when they're working for a non-profit theatre company. Believe it or not, you might be drawing a bigger weekly paycheck than Keira Knightley does starring in Therese Raquin.

Non-profits like the Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club and Lincoln Center Theatre use different contracts than commercial Broadway productions with a much lower pay scale. That scale changes, however, if the production runs beyond the maximum number of performances allowed by unions.

The Hollywood Reporter's fascinating and informative interview with Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes and casting director/director of artistic development Jim Carnahan reveals how they plan out their seasons and lure in name stars to shine on their stages.

"In today's environment, it's really not enough just to do a play well," says Haimes. 'You have to do a play well and have - in most cases - a name-value star. But it's particularly tricky for us because of a couple of things. The name-value star has to do it for $1,300 a week and they have to do it in our subscription slot.'

Haimes explains that 75% of the time they start with matching up a play with the right director, but there are other times when the star is selected first and they'll choose to do a reading of the play and, if they choose to go forward, find the best possible director. That was the case with the upcoming production of Jessica Lange in LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT.

Regarding Keira Knightley, in Therese Raquin, Carnahan adds, "We did a couple of readings where Keira, as you can well imagine with her schedule and with having a baby, wasn't available. There was a minute where it looked like THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (a 2011 West End revival in which she starred) was going to come to New York, so there was a long period of time she wasn't available. And then (director) Evan Cabnet came to us and said I really want to look at Therese Raquin, and Todd said we have this adaptation that we commissioned and really love. Again, we went, well let's try Keira. We didn't know she was pregnant."

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The Broadway adaptation of THÉRÈSE RAQUIN, starring Academy and Golden Globe nominee Keira Knightley (Thérèse) began preview performances on October 1, 2015, and opens officially on Thursday, October 29, 2015 on Broadway at Studio 54. The new adaptation is written by Helen Edmundson, based upon the novel by Émile Zola, directed by Evan Cabnet.

Knightley joins Tony award winner Gabriel Ebert (Camille), Matt Ryan (Laurent) and two-time Tony award winner Judith Light (Madame Raquin), alongside David Patrick Kelly, Jeff Still, Mary Wiseman,Glynis Bell, Alex Mickiewicz,Sara Topham, and Ray Virta in the cast.

A quiet young woman with a restless spirit, Thérèse (Knightley) submits to a loveless life at the side of her weak and selfish husband played by Tony Award winner Gabriel Ebert (Matilda), and her controlling mother-in-law, played by two-time Tony Award winner Judith Light (The Assembled Parties)...until she meets his childhood friend Laurent played by Matt Ryan ("Constantine"). When their overwhelming passion spins violently out of control, they realize that love can be a dangerous game, and sometimes there is no winner. Based on the novel by Émile Zola, Thérèse Raquin byHelen Edmundson is a tale of love, lust, betrayal and guilt that will leave you breathless.

The design team includes Beowulf Boritt (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Keith Parham (lighting), and Josh Schmidt (sound).

Photo of Keira Knightley and Judith Light: Joan Marcus

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From This Author Michael Dale