Actors’ Equity Association has responded to the letter sent by union members requesting a virtual town hall to discuss reopening plans by promising that a meeting would take place, with details to be announced soon. The response, which also details the steps AEA has said it has taken so far to keep its members safe, was posted on Medium March 20.
Since last July, Actors’ Equity has been approving productions across the country at venues depending on a safety plan submitted to the union. In its letter, AEA says that it currently takes around 21 days for an approval, suggesting that producers submit their plan at least three weeks before work begins with approval coming “three-to-five days before a proposed start date.”
Equity also highlighted its request to prioritize vaccinations for art workers to speed up the line suggested by Dr. Facui in January that theatres would likely be able to open at full capacity in the fall. "When vaccines are widespread, theatre will be able to return in much greater numbers and safety protocols will update to take into account that a large portion of the population has been vaccinated," the letter reads.
In the original letter addressed to AEA (penned by Hadestown alum Timothy Hughes and having amassed over 2,000 signatures since), members cited a lack of transparency and the issuing of "realistic and detailed protocols" among the reasons they feel the union is relatively behind in moving toward a post-pandemic landscape. "Understandably, the vaccine rollout and the science are moving quickly and changing on a daily basis, and we as a union need to be staying on top of that, not months behind it," it read.