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Low-Wage America: Outdoor Theatre in Xenia, Ohio

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 /
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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.

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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Noah Adams, long-time co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, brings more than three decades of radio experience to his current job as a contributing correspondent for NPR's National Desk., focusing on the low-wage workforce, farm issues, and the Katrina aftermath. Now based in Ohio, he travels extensively for his reporting assignments, a position he's held since 2003.
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