Actors' Equity Instructs Performers to Perform During GOP Visit

News   Actors' Equity Instructs Performers to Perform During GOP Visit In an unusual dictum apparently issued in response to rumors of a protest walk-out on Broadway, Actors' Equity has instructed its performer members to report to work as usual during next week's Republican Convention.

An Aug. 26 posting on the Equity website read: "Actors' Equity, the national union representing actors and stage managers in the U.S., has advised its members working on Broadway to report to work as usual during the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City. 'Our members are consummate professionals and will, pursuant to our collective bargaining agreement, honor their obligations to our employers, as well as our audiences,' said Equity executive director Alan Eisenberg. Equity has a long standing policy that the Association does not endorse or take a position on any political candidate or party."

Equity spokesperson Maria Somma said a group called Shut It Down NYC! had reached out to Broadway casts in an attempt to organize a desertion of Times Square stages in protest of the presence of Republicans delegates in the city and in Broadway auditoriums.

Aug. 29 is the one day conventioneers are expected to attend the theatre. The GOP-approved shows include The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, 42nd Street, Bombay Dreams, Movin' Out, The Phantom of the Opera and Wonderful Town. The convention bought out each of the eight matinees.

On its website, Shut It Down NYC! States, "We are attempting to connect with Actors' Equity and other unions to try to get their memberships involved. We are also hoping to get a high profile actor to sign on."

A spokesperson for Shut It Down could not be reached at press time.