Members of Actors' Equity performing in the regions will see salary increases over the next few years. The union has hammered out a new, three-year pact with the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). The deal, reached on Mar. 6, includes salary bumps of up to 12 percent over the course of the contract.
LORT represents dozens of top regional theatres across the country, including Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre, San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre and San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Also among LORT's ranks is New York's Roundabout Theatre Company. In terms of employment for Equity's members, the LORT contract is considered only second in importance to the Production Contract, which governs Broadway work.
Actors working in LORT theatres -- which are ranked by box-office gross from "A," the highest level, to "D" -- will see increases in their paychecks. Pay for performers working at LORT "A" theatres will rise from $647 a week to $728 over the life of the pact -- a 12 percent leap. Raises will be progressively smaller at lower-ranked companies, bottoming out at a 8.75 percent jump, from $459 to $500 for thesps trodding LORT "D" boards.
Stage managers will experience parallel raises in salary.
Equity also won improvements in housing facilities and free local non-toll telephone service for members. Also, 12 LORT theatre moved up in ranking, while eight moved down.
Negotiations lasted three weeks. The Equity team was led by the union's executive director, Alan Eisenberg.
--By Robert Simonson