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Actors’ Equity Strike: Broadway League Faces Expiring Development

  • Unanimous vote by labor union representing over 51,000 professional actors and stage managers
  • Strike would be a response to the inability to reach consensus on the Development Agreement
  • Previous strike in 2019 lasted 33 days, marking the first strike in 50 years

Introduction

The labor union representing over 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, Actors’ Equity Association, has voted unanimously to authorize a strike against The Broadway League. This vote serves as a warning that business as usual could be disrupted if an agreement on the Development Agreement is not reached. The current agreement, which supports the creation of new works by Broadway League producers, has been under discussion since last month and is set to expire on Sunday.

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Importance of Development Agreement

The Development Agreement plays a crucial role in the theater industry as it supports the creation of new works by Broadway League producers. It ensures that the development work, which may not generate immediate revenue, is appropriately compensated. This work is vital in shaping successful shows that can potentially have long lives and generate substantial profits for producers. Therefore, reaching a consensus on the Development Agreement is essential for the smooth functioning of the industry.

History of Strikes

This is not the first time that Actors’ Equity Association has taken a stand on this issue. In 2019, the union went on strike over what was then called the Lab Agreement. It was a historic moment as it marked the first strike in 50 years. The strike lasted for 33 days, demonstrating the union’s determination to fight for fair compensation for its members. If a strike is called again, actors and stage managers would refuse to participate in the development of shows aimed at full-scale productions.

Potential Impact of a Strike

A strike by Actors’ Equity Association would have significant implications for the theater industry. It would disrupt the development of new works, potentially causing delays or cancellations of future productions. Producers would face challenges in moving forward with their projects without the participation of actors and stage managers. The strike would serve as a powerful reminder of the essential role that these professionals play in the creation of successful Broadway shows.

Conclusion

The unanimous vote by Actors’ Equity Association to authorize a strike against The Broadway League highlights the importance of fair compensation for the development work done by actors and stage managers. As the current Development Agreement approaches its expiration date, it is crucial for both parties to reach a consensus to prevent any disruption in the theater industry. The potential strike serves as a reminder of the power of collective action and the significant impact that actors and stage managers have on the success of Broadway productions.

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