Lantern Theater Company
Photograph 51 (2015)
The Lantern Theater Artist Fair Pay Initiative

Through this bold initiative, we have increased by 50% the compensation of theater artists working under contract, including actors, directors, designers, and stage managers.

Our performing artists are among Philadelphia's hardest working citizens. By giving so much of themselves, these theater artists have helped to build our city into one of the country's most vibrant performing arts communities. We should not neglect the fact that artists themselves provide an extraordinarily large subsidy to the city through low-cost, and sometimes free, donations of work. Through this initiative, we aim to make a meaningful contribution in hopes of offsetting this subsidy. We believe that better pay will encourage these artists to remain in the field and to stay in Philadelphia where they make such enormous contributions to the region's economy and quality of life.

During the first four years, this major initiative added over $400,000 to the Lantern's operating budget. Following the initial four-year period where the initiative was funded by outside support, we will maintain this increased level of compensation as a self-sustaining part of our annual budget. The launch of this initiative was made possible by a $200,000 four-year grant from the Wyncote Foundation, and incremental commitments from the generous supporters listed below. I also made a personally meaningful contribution towards this effort.

By announcing this initiative publicly, we hope to spur a public conversation about the real cost of producing high quality theater in Philadelphia – and to help patrons and donors like you understand the value of your support. Please consider joining us in this important effort.

Thank you, as always, for your support of the Lantern.

Charles McMahon
Charles McMahon
Artistic Director
Every dollar makes a big difference.

Our deepest thanks to the following supporters who have made a four-year commitment to the Lantern Theater Artist Fair Pay Initiative:

Eugene & Joann Bissell  •  CHG Charitable Trust  •  Nancy Hogan Dutton  •  Stacy Maria Dutton  •  William Flanagan  •  Gregory Kleiber & Harriet Ravdin  •  The Lida Foundation  •  William A. Loeb  •  Donald W. Maloney  •  Charles McMahon  •  David Pierson & Barrie Trimingham  •  Ellen Rosen Rogoff  •  Anne Shuff  •  Jeanne Sigler & James Fratto  •  Virginia Brown Martin Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation  •  Debra Weiner  •  Rebecca & Rhys Williams  •  Ted & Stevie Wolf  •  Wyncote Foundation

Questions about our Fair Pay Initiative? Please contact Stacy Maria Dutton, Executive Director, at or 215.829.9002 x101. Thank you for supporting the Lantern!

GuideStar/Candid Gold Seal of Transparency Lantern Theater Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our Federal Tax ID number is 23-2798692. Donations to Lantern Theater Company are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The official registration and financial information of Lantern Theater Company may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Pictured: Joseph McGranaghan, Geneviève Perrier, and Trevor William Fayle in Photograph 51 (2015). Photo: Mark Garvin.
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Header Photo: Lawrence Stallings in the world premiere of Me and the Devil (2021); Anthony Lawton and Dave Johnson in Travesties (2022); Melissa Rakiro and Joanna Liao in Twelfth Night (2023); and Paul L. Nolan, Sally Mercer, and Charles McMahon in Copenhagen (2018). Photos by Mark Garvin.

Lantern Theater Company acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape, and we pay respect to them as this region's original storytellers.

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