The Off-Broadway League and Actors’ Equity Association have reached a new collective bargaining agreement. The guidelines and provisions began (retroactively) August 1 and will last through July 2024.
While details were not made public, the agreement is a testament to challenges and realities the industry has grappled with in the years since the previous contract was implemented, in fall 2016. In the wake of demands for proper equity, certain language was updated around inclusive casting and hiring policies. New procedures are in place to address complaints of discrimination and harassment. And, as many theatres are only now preparing to reopen their doors to in-person audiences following the coronavirus shutdown, Off-Broadway productions will have more options to make their performances available via streaming platforms.
Additional terms included in the new agreement include pay increases for Equity members (actors and stage managers) and the implementation of new work schedules to promote flexibility.
Both sides acknowledged the unprecedented backdrop against which the agreement was reached. “When Off-Broadway fully reopens, it will be safer and fairer for the stage managers and actors who bring in audiences,” Stephen Bogardus, an Equity principal councilor and chair of the Off-Broadway Negotiating Team, said. “This agreement happened because we all stood together.”