Actors' Equity and AGMA Join Forces on "Crossover" Productions

News   Actors' Equity and AGMA Join Forces on "Crossover" Productions Actors' Equity and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) have agreed to a two-year contract in which they will jointly oversee so-called "crossover" productions which employ members of both unions.

The new deal addresses such hybrid Broadway productions as Movin' Out, the Twyla Tharp-Billy Joel collaboration that is as close to modern ballet as it is to musical theatre, and La Boheme, Baz Luhrmann's slick, updated look at Puccini's classic opera which was marketed as a Broadway-style attraction.

AGMA (7,000 members) traditionally negotiates contracts for music and ballet organizations, while Equity (45,000 members) typically forges pacts for almost all Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and musicals.

A joint statement from the two guilds said, "Contracts for both the New York production and the tour of Movin' Out and contracts for any subsequent crossover productions will be principally negotiated, administered and enforced under traditional AEA provisions, with AGMA's active participation in negotiations and shared Playbill credit." Both sides also agreed to not tread on each other's time-honored territory.

Actor Theodore Bikel, the president of the Association of Actors & Artistes of America, will have exclusive authority to decide what shows exactly fall in the "crossover" category.

With this agreement, Equity and AGMA are acknowledging the changing face of Broadway and Off-Broadway, where one is more and more likely to see plays, musicals, operas, dance, performance pieces and undefinable entertainments share the same basic real estate.