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Actors’ Equity Goes On Strike Against Developmental Work

Actors’ Equity Goes On Strike Against Developmental Work

Actors’ Equity will stop issuing contracts for work on projects in development, effective immediately, as negotiations for a new contract have stalled. 

The union of actors and stage managers began negotiations with the Broadway League on Jan. 22, 2024, and the current agreement expired on Feb. 11. Equity Negotiating Team Chair Stephen Bogardus said in a statement that the decision came as a result of an unsatisfactory wage package put forward by the League. 

This is the second time Actors’ Equity has gone on strike in regards to the contract In 2019, the union went on a 33-day strike in 2019 over this contract, which pertains to workshops and readings of shows held before potential full productions on Broadway or elsewhere. In the end, union members who take part in the development of certain productions gained a share in 1 percent of the show’s profits, once the show goes on to a full production and recoups, as well as a salary increase.

 The union had voted to authorize this strike in February. The strike pertains to upcoming work. At the moment, there are currently no projects with open/ongoing Development contracts with Broadway League producers.

“We never wanted it to come to this, but the wage package put across the table by The Broadway League was just plain unacceptable. Our members cannot afford to work on this contract at the proposed compensation levels over the next five years,” Bogardus said. “Five years ago, we ceased development work to get The Broadway League to acknowledge the work our members provide in the development of new work for the Broadway arena. Five years later, we are forced to do it again. We look forward to the day we can return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair wage on this agreement that meets our stage managers’ and actors’ needs. We are ready whenever The League is.”

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The strike comes as Brooke Shields took over leadership as president of Actors’ Equity in late May.

More to come.

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