Theater actors step up push for union to allow them to work

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, May 18, 2024

Theater actors step up push for union to allow them to work
In a digital screenshot, clockwise from top left: Dr. David Michaels, medical adviser to Actors’ Equity, and union officials Brandon Lorenz, Mary McColl, and Kate Shindle in a remote meeting, May 26, 2020. Nearly 2,000 performers have petitioned Actors’ Equity for guidelines that will speed up a return to the stage. Sara Krulwich/The New York Times.

by Michael Paulson

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- As states around the nation move toward reopening, theater actors and stage managers are protesting what they see as their union’s slow pace toward helping them get back to work.

Nearly 2,000 members of Actors’ Equity have signed a petition that asks the simple question, “When are we going to talk about the details of getting back to work?”

The petition was spearheaded by Timothy Hughes, who, in an art-meets-reality echo, is a member of the workers’ chorus in “Hadestown.”

“We feel unheard, we feel left out, and we feel way farther behind than any other industry when it comes to putting in place practical protocols that would get us back to work,” Hughes said in an interview.

Among the signatories are Tony Award winners Stephanie J. Block, Rachel Bay Jones, Karen Olivo and Ali Stroker, and numerous Tony nominees, among them Aaron Tveit, Eva Noblezada, Rob McClure, Ato Blankson-Wood, Robyn Hurder, Emily Skinner, Brandon Uranowitz and Max von Essen.

The signers’ goals are basic: They are asking for a meeting with their own union officials, which seems likely to happen soon.

“We are hopeful that the issue of realistic and detailed protocols to return to work can be prioritized so that funds can return to our union,” the letter says.

But the letter, which was delivered to Equity on Tuesday and is being updated daily with more signatures, reflects longstanding frustration, both by some union members and some producers, over working with Equity through the course of the pandemic.

Since the deadly coronavirus outbreak began, the union has barred its members from working on any U.S. productions unless they have safety plans it has approved. Equity lists on its website 22 theaters where it has approved productions, but that’s a tiny fraction of the theaters in America, and some producers have said they have found the union nonresponsive or obstructionist.

Frustration appears to be growing in part because Equity members have for months been seeing actors in film and television, who are represented by a different union, SAG-AFTRA, returning to work. Hughes said that a recent set of revisions to the union’s safety protocols, which have been updated regularly throughout the pandemic, was troubling because it included requirements, like private transportation for actors to theaters, that seemed prohibitively expensive.

Equity, which represents about 51,000 actors and stage managers, did not immediately offer a comment, but Monday the union’s president, Kate Shindle, and executive director, Mary McColl, wrote to members acknowledging that the landscape is shifting.

“We are proud that our safety protocols have kept workers safe, but we also know that what we have done so far during the pandemic is not enough to bring us back to where we were,” they wrote. “When enough vaccine is available for everyone, a fully vaccinated company will have less risk, which will mean streamlined safety protocols and a faster return to work.”

© 2021 The New York Times Company

Today's News

March 21, 2021

Bored rich people spend money

Rare Bernini drawing fetches record price at French auction

Unique first time launch of NFT-based digitally reinvented real-world artwork to be auctioned

After being scratched and punched, Trump wax figure is removed

Christie's Asian Art Week achieves $54.49 million

Guggenheim introduces 'Re/Projections: Video, Film, and Performance for the Rotunda'

Walter Storms Galerie opens an exhibition of recent works by Turi Simeti

Rare books and incunabula now open for bidding on iGavel Auctions

Christie's to offer a curated selection of fine European and English furniture and works of art

She kept a library book for 63 years. It was time to return it.

Janet Borden Inc. opens a new exhibition featuring the work of three artists

Return of traffic cops to landmark piazza brings unlikely joy in Rome

Magnificent light and art festival launches in Riyadh

London Gallery Weekend launches 2021

George Bass, archaeologist of the ocean floor, dies at 88

Theater actors step up push for union to allow them to work

Museum appoints Veronica Stein as the new Woman's Board Executive Director, Learning and Public Engagement

Armenian Museum of America launches fourth virtual series with focus on early recordings

'Formal' in-person Oscars in hands of veteran director

UNESCO's French chief set for second term: sources

It will be a big, fat hairy deal when 'Jim Davis: The Art of Garfield' comes to Heritage Auctions April 15

Persons Projects opens an exhibition of works by Jari Silomäki

Ronnie Wood releases new limited-edition Rolling Stones prints and previously unseen set lists

Kehrer Verlag publishes '100 hectares of understanding' by Jaakko Kahilaniemi

How Corporate Lawyers Can Shift Their Marketing To Social Media In These Trying Times

Why Choose Wallpaper Singapore Products Over Paint

Svitlana Antonovich. A master class from a famous designer

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful