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August 5, 2004

Actors’ Equity Awarded Jurisdiction Over “JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA” Pursuant To AEA-AGMA Jurisdictional Agreement

Controversial, Award-Winning Musical Bound For Broadway in 2005

Actor’s Equity has been awarded jurisdiction over the upcoming Broadway production of “JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA." The decision was announced by Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg at the Council meeting of July 29, 2004, following a ruling by the 4As – the Associated Actors and Artistes of America – pursuant to the Jurisdictional Agreement between Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).

According to 4As President Theo Bikel, who viewed the production in London, “the fact that there are elements of opera to be found in JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA, the solid basis for a determination in favor of a crossover production is lacking.” He cited the wide-ranging vocal styles within the show – “bel canto, jazz, rock, revival meeting and other hybrid forms, and the fact that no single role, possibly with one exception, remain consistently within accepted operatic forms” as factors in the decision.

JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA has garnered four “Best Musical” Awards – the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, as well as the 2003 Critics Circle Award, the 2003 Evening Standard Award, and 2004 What’s On Stage Award. The production is scheduled to open at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco next spring before coming to Broadway in the fall of 2005.

In June 2003, Actors’ Equity and AGMA adopted a groundbreaking agreement to settle jurisdictional disputes over the Broadway productions such as LA BOHEME and MOVIN’ OUT. Hailed by their respective Executive Directors as “a step on the road to the exploration of merger,” the bilateral Agreement recognizes Equity’s expertise in establishing standards for Broadway productions and AGMA’s expertise in negotiating contracts for operatic music and ballet dancing.





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