EquityWorksLA.com, a new website, has been launched by Actors’ Equity Association to provide official information on three negotiated contracts and other rules available for Los Angeles theatres with 99 seats or less.
In April, 2015, AEA decided to require 99-seat theatres in Los Angeles to pay actors no less than minimum wage—currently $9 an hour—despite strong opposition from the local actors at those theatres. Most of them previously worked for far less, or nothing, and oppose the higher pay plan because they fear the union demand will stifle the theatres and result in substantially less work. According to AEA, “The new membership rules ensure that union members can still volunteer in the LA theatre community, to the extent the law allows.”
In addition to clarifying various contracts and “off the card” options, AEA said the site was also launched in order to set “the facts straight in response to confusing information that has been swirling around the future of 99-seat theatre in Los Angeles.”
Members of the Los Angeles theatre community will gather August 22 for a town hall event that will examine the consequences of the city’s “cultural ecosystem” should Actors’ Equity Association implement its proposed plan requiring 99-seat theatres to pay actors minimum wage.