Equity Reaches Agreement with Paramour Producers

News   Equity Reaches Agreement with Paramour Producers A looming clash between Actors' Equity Association and Cirque du Soleil Theatrical, producers of the forthcoming Broadway musical Paramour, was averted this week with an agreement between the two parties that will allow some members of the cast to be represented by the Variety Artists union, AGVA.

The show had been listed on the Equity website's "do not work" page with the advisory that actors were to contact the actors' union if a contract were offered. The page usually lists shows barred to members of the union because no contract exists or because there is a dispute.

AEA spokesperson Maria Somma released a statement Jan. 5 saying the two parties "have entered into an agreement for all future Cirque du Soleil Theatrical productions on Broadway (as well as pre-Broadway and post-Broadway tours) to be produced under Equity contracts."

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As part of their new relationship, Actors' Equity Association and Cirque du Soleil Theatrical will enter into a special one-time agreement for the upcoming Broadway production of Paramour that will allow part of the cast to be represented by a different union, the American Guild of Variety Artists.

Equity said that "this special agreement contains many of the same terms and conditions as the [standard AEA Broadway] Production Contract, including minimum Broadway salary, benefits and safety rules. The special agreement will cover the actors, singers, dancers and stage managers of the company." According to the statement, a special agreement was created because Paramour contains "traditional Cirque acrobatics and feats and the remainder of the company is made up of experts in the Circus Arts."

According to a production spokesperson, 16 of the singers, dancers and actors in the cast and the four stage managers will be represented by Equity. The remainder of the cast (22 circus artists, aerialists, acrobats, et al) will be represented by AGVA. Other specific terms of the agreement were not released. Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity said, "We are delighted to welcome Cirque du Soleil Theatrical to the Equity family. We look forward to a successful, long-term relationship and to the many additional work weeks this agreement will provide for our members on Broadway and across the country."

"This is a terrific way to start the New Year," said Equity president Kate Shindle. "On behalf of the membership, I would like to congratulate Equity's staff on the great work they did negotiating this, and, additionally, to thank the National Council and the many members-at-large who participated in the effort. We continue to hear that our 50,000-plus actors and stage managers want 'Broadway' and 'touring' to be synonymous with 'Equity,' and this represents a major gain toward that goal."

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