Almost Goodnight for Saigon; Equity Picket Line Threatens Non-Union Tour in Boston

News   Almost Goodnight for Saigon; Equity Picket Line Threatens Non-Union Tour in Boston A union demonstration by Actors' Equity Association Sept. 22 nearly shut down the Sept. 23 opening of a non-Equity touring production of Miss Saigon at Boston's Wang Center for the Performing.

When an Equity picket line — honored by the IATSE Local 11 Stagehands Union and Teamsters Local 25 — held up the unloading of scenery and equipment, members of the Wang Center staff, road crew and the Saigon cast started unloading the truck containing the sets. Equity representatives then called off the picket out of concern for the actors' safety. "The safety of the actors is very important to us and we could not in good faith allow the situation continue," stated Director of Organizing and Special Projects Flora Stamatiades. "Actors' Equity Association's commitment to address the issue of non Equity road shows will not waver."

Equity stated the picket was an attempt to bring Big League Theatricals, the producers of the non-Equity production, to the negotiating table to discuss fair wages and benefits for the actors.

In the summer of 2001, the union attempted a boycott of the Big League Theatricals non-Equity national tour of The Music Man, citing the show was attempting to pass itself off as Broadway caliber and charging Broadway prices for a non-professional production.

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