Stagehands, wardrobe, hair and makeup workers on current and future road shows will work as union members.
The five shows currently touring (formerly non-union) will now be covered under a collective bargaining agreement that provides for "good wages, working conditions, and health and retirement benefits for stagehands, wardrobe, and hair and makeup workers traveling throughout the United States and Canada," IATSE announced April 3.
The agreement extends to the current NETworks productions of Sweeney Todd, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz and Annie and into the 2009-2010 season. There are currently seven productions planned that will be covered the following season. The productions are not associated with Actors' Equity Association at this time.
IATSE international president Matthew Loeb stated that "this agreement will provide meaningful benefits to NETworks' crews. It also secures this work under IATSE jurisdiction and expands our presence in the one-night and split-week touring markets and, as such, was a major organizing priority for us."
NETworks co-founder, producer Kenneth Gentry stated, "I applaud president Loeb and his team for understanding and recognizing the current economics of touring in the one-night and split-week markets. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship." The IATSE is an International Union that represents members employed in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade show industries throughout the United States, its Territories, and Canada.
NETworks Presentations LLC was founded in 1995 by Kenneth Gentry, Seth Wenig and Scott Jackson. It has produced and managed over 50 national and international touring productions. Previous productions include Oliver!, Little Women, Jekyll and Hyde, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Light in the Piazza, among many others. Last season's offerings were Annie, Hairspray, My Fair Lady, The Producers, Rent and The Wedding Singer. Joining returning hits Annie and Hairspray this season are The Drowsy Chaperone; Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Wizard of Oz. Upcoming touring projects include Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Cry-Baby, Handel's Messiah Rocks and South Pacific.