Spider-Man Producers Failed to Post Bond for SDC Members, Arbitrator Says
By Kenneth Jones
An arbitrator has ruled that the producers of Broadway's Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark failed to post the required bonds for the employment of director Philip W. McKinley and choreographer Chase Brock, violating the collectively bargained agreement between producers and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). SDC made this announcement Jan. 23.
Arbitrator Carol Wittenberg ruled that the producers are bound by the grievance and arbitration provision of the Collectively Bargained Agreement and violated the Agreement when they failed to post security bonds for SDC members Brock and McKinley. The two artists joined the production team of the Broadway show deep into the preview process, after the producers parted ways with original director Julie Taymor.
Wittenberg granted SDC's request for pre-judgment interest on the bond amount owed bond since spring 2011.
This ruling is legally binding. The bond is due immediately, according to SDC.
In the arbitration, SDC cited the provision of the SDC/League Agreement which requires Broadway producers who are not members of the Broadway League to post a bond equal to the artist's minimum fee and advance. The bond serves as security against payment of future royalties and benefits should a producer default.
Karen Azenberg, SDC president, said in a statement, "The posting of bonds is a basic industry practice which is embedded in all our collectively bargained agreements to protect members in the event of a producer's default. We are grateful that the arbitrator honored this practice and fully enforced our rights under the agreement. We are pleased that this decision continues to support our members."
"We regret that SDC has to resort to the legal process to get these producers to meet obligations to SDC members," added Laura Penn, executive director. "Although not members of the Broadway League they still have to honor our Agreement."
Playbill sought comment from the Spider-Man producers.
SDC is the theatrical union that represents 2,400 member directors and choreographers working throughout the United States.
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