AARONS AND FREEDLEY · Today the Shuberts and Nederlanders are the theater owners of note, but prior to the Depression, most producers owned their own theaters. Th is was a logical outgrowth of the nineteenthcentury tradition of the great actor-managers. These actor-managers produced their own shows in which they starred with their stock companies. Th at tradition faded in the late 1920s as a new generation of producers came on the scene. Other circumstances leading to the end of the actor-managers were the creation of Actors’ Equity and the increased costs of producing theater, which precluded keeping large companies on salary throughout the year.