Studio Theatre artistic director Joy Zinoman has returned from her latest trip to Malaysia to a happy financial situation at the beginning of the theater's sixth season. Because of last year's success, the theater finds itself in the luxurious position of being able to increase its operating budget by $50,000. "We feel strong enough now and confident to make some decisions about growth," Zinoman said.

Zinoman's plans for 1983-84 include the purchase of a computerized lighting board, increased staff, going to a five-play season (opening Sept. 29 with Carson McCullers' "Member of the Wedding"), and paying non-Equity performers. In previous years, non-Equity actors received only a percentage of whatever profits, and because of a $20,000 deficit left over from the 1981-82 season, actors were not paid, except for extensions. "It will be a modest payment," Zinoman said, "but symbolically it's an important achievement for us."

As for her trip, Zinoman said she did consulting for the National Theatre of Malaysia and worked with the University of Malaysia's theater department, which she founded 12 years ago. "But if you want to know what I really did over there," Zinoman said, "I read every comedy ever written between 1930 and 1940."