Actors' Equity and Broadway Producers Return to the Table July 6

News   Actors' Equity and Broadway Producers Return to the Table July 6
 
Actors' Equity and Broadway producers will return to the negotiating table on July 6, following the holiday weekend.

Equity issued a press release stating, "Actors' Equity Association and the League of American Theatres and Producers, and its coordinating bargaining partners, jointly announced today that negotiations will resume Tuesday, July 6, 2004, at 1 PM. Performances will continue into the foreseeable future."

The two sides have not met since talks broke down during the final hours of Sunday June 27. Each side said the other walked out of talks. The new set of talks effectively extends the current contract, which expired on June 27 at midnight.

The AEA governing council met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the stalled negotiations.

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The major points of the new Production Contract between actors and stage managers and the producers of Broadway and touring shows are health-care issues and non-union tours. The Production Contract is used for most Broadway and touring Equity shows. Among other things, Equity wants a promise that touring spinoffs of Broadway shows will be union productions. Recent stagings of The Music Man and Oklahoma! were non-Equity affairs.

Both sides of the table have kept mum about the details of negotiations since talks began. The New York Post reported that the June 29 meeting ended as voices were raised and tempers flared.

A strike would shut down almost every Equity tour (there are 11 on the road) and most Broadway shows except those operating under a separate agreement between Actors' Equity Association and the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) — The Frogs at Lincoln Center Theater, Sight Unseen at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company's Assassins and After the Fall.

The contract between Equity and the League expired midnight Sunday, June 27, but the few Broadway shows that perform Monday nights did play June 28. The union and the League will continue operating under the previous contract until there is either a work stoppage or a new contract.

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