Actors’ Equity Association Halts Future Development Contracts in Wake of Stalled Negotiations
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:27 pm EDT 06/17/24

Actors' Equity Association Halts Future Development Contracts in Wake of Stalled Negotiations

New York -- Actors' Equity Association, the labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has followed through on its notice that it will cease issuing contracts for work on the Development Agreement, effective immediately.

"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," said Equity Negotiating Team Chair Stephen Bogardus. "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."

The Development Agreement is used for the development of new works by Broadway League producers, usually prior to an intended Production Contract engagement. This past season alone, shows that relied on the Development Agreement on their road to Broadway include Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Gatsby, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Harmony, The Heart of Rock and Roll, How to Dance in Ohio, Lempicka, The Notebook, Once Upon a One More Time, The Outsiders, Suffs, Water for Elephants and The Wiz. Equity and the Broadway League began negotiations on January 22, 2024, and the current agreement expired on February 11.

The Development Agreement was created in 2019 as a restructuring of the previous Lab, Workshop and Stage Reading Agreements. During its inception, Equity staged the union's first strike in half a century. The ultimate result was an agreement hailed for the introduction of contingent compensation, which ensured that actors and stage managers would share in the success of productions they helped develop when those productions became hits.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. #EquityWorks

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