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July 7, 2005

Actors’ Equity Organizes Two New York City Premieres At Lincoln Center and the 13th Street Theatre

New Contracts Reflect Expanded Organizing Efforts

Actors’ Equity has organized two upcoming New York City theatrical productions - both premieres - one produced by the Lincoln Center Festival, the other at the 13th Street Theatre. The new contracts reflect Equity’s expanded organizing efforts at the local level. Flora Stamatiades, Equity’s National Director, Organizing, oversaw the organizing drive.

FATAL ATTRACTION: A GREEK TRAGEDY is a parody of the film of the same name, which will run as a commercial production at the 160+ seat 13th Street Theatre Off Broadway with a cast of eight actors and a stage manager. The producer had originally intended for the show to be non-Equity, however, one of the actors is a member of both SAG and AFTRA. This encouraged the Producer to negotiate the appropriate contract.

Negotiations took place and acceptable terms were achieved. Actors’ minimum salaries will be $460 per week, (Stage Manager $548), for a four-week rehearsal period and up to eight performance weeks. Thereafter, terms will revert to the applicable standard contract. Health and pension contributions are based on the current ANTC (Alliance of Non-Profit Theatre Companies) agreement. The opening is set for Thursday, July 7, 2005. Equity staff member Patrick Lee assisted in the negotiations.

In early May, the Lincoln Center Festival announced a production of a new show, MY LIFE AS A FAIRY TALE, based on the tales of Hans Christian Andersen and starring Fiona Shaw, Mia Maestro, Qian Yi, Mary Lou Rosato, and Blair Brown. Equity’s National Director, Organizing, Flora Stamatiades, contacted Lincoln Center immediately to negotiate a contract.

After numerous back-and-forth conversations, Lincoln Center advised Equity on June 16 that they unequivocally refused to negotiate. Ms. Stamatiades notified Equity members in the cast to withdraw from the production (rehearsals were scheduled to begin on June 20). The cast members, as well as their agents, were cooperative and supportive, ultimately helping Equity to convince Lincoln Center to sit down at the bargaining table.

Negotiations took place over the weekend of June 18-19, and acceptable terms were ultimately achieved on the 20th, allowing rehearsals to being June 21. The production will be mounted under a Special Production Contract at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (fewer than 700 seats). Minimums for Actors are $902 per week; Stage Manager, $1271; First ASM, $1039; plus pension and health contributions. MY LIFE AS A FAIRY TALE will be performed from July 27 – 30, 2005. Equity Business Representative Daniel Hoyos assisted in the negotiations.

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