Broadway Holds Its Breath as Next Step in Equity-League Contract Talks Is Weighed

News   Broadway Holds Its Breath as Next Step in Equity-League Contract Talks Is Weighed Actors' Equity Association's governing council is meeting the afternoon of June 29 to determine its next move — to strike or to continue negotiating.
The logos of Actors' Equity Association and the League of American Theatres and Producers.
The logos of Actors' Equity Association and the League of American Theatres and Producers.

The actors' and stage managers' union and the League of American Theatres and Producers stopped negotiations toward a new Production Contract Sunday night, June 27. Each said the other walked out of talks. A spokesperson for Equity said at 2:30 PM (ET) Tuesday that Broadway and touring shows (which are also affected) would indeed play Tuesday evening. An announcement about the next step Equity will take is expected sometime June 29.

A spokesperson for the League told Playbill On-Line Tuesday afternoon that the ball is in Equity's court, adding, "We're very eager to get back to the table."

The major points of the new contract between actors and stage managers and the producers of Broadway and touring shows are health-care issues and non-union tours. The Production Contract is used for most Broadway and touring Equity shows.

Among other things, Equity wants a promise that touring spinoffs of Broadway shows will be union productions. Recent stagings of The Music Man and Oklahoma! were non-Equity affairs.

Both sides of the table have kept mum about the details of negotiations since talks began.

A strike would shut down almost every Equity tour (there are 11 on the road) and most Broadway shows except those operating under a separate agreement between Actors' Equity Association and the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) — The Frogs at Lincoln Center Theater, Sight Unseen at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company's Assassins and After the Fall.

The contract between Equity and the League expired midnight Sunday, June 27, but the few Broadway shows that perform Monday nights did play June 28.