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Posted November 18, 2005


Actors’ Equity Association ratified the new four-year Off Broadway Agreement at the November 8, 2005 Eastern Regional Board Meeting. In a meeting of its board held the following week, the League of Off Broadway Theatres and Producers approved the terms and conditions of the agreement, which is up for renewal in October, 2009. There will be retroactive payments to October 23, 2005, when the contract expired.

Once again health rate contributions were an important issue and the talks resulted in a 37.6% increase in the low rate and a 42% increase in the high rate over four years. Salaries saw an increase, ranging from 6.5% to 8.2% for the life of the agreement. Other important items include greater flexibility in promotions, recording and marketing; notification to Equity for all raked stages in excess of one half inch; and the addition of language that prohibits inherently dangerous conditions.

In addition, Institutional theatres will now hold no fewer that 4 production-specific audition days in addition to three days of Joint auditions. Improvements were made for Stage Managers and Assistant Stage Managers as well as for understudies. Changes in the Rehearsal rule will make the tech period less onerous while the More Remunerative Employment rule was modified to reduce the burden on shows when actors leave.

“The negotiations were amicable and very productive for both sides and that cooperation shows in the resulting agreement,” said Carol Waaser, Equity’s Eastern Regional Director. “Together we made strides in the issues that were important to both the Union and the League.”

The Off Broadway Negotiation Team included John Atherlay, Chair; Irma Rogers, Ira Mont, Joanne Borts, Jeff Williams, Mark Zimmerman, Kate Broderick, Brian Cooper, Bernita Robinson, Nancy Slusser, Wally Dunn, Todd Thurston, Frank Gargano, Ryan Duncan, Brian Rardin, Nick Wyman, and Kimberly Russell. Along with Ms. Waaser, who served as Chief Negotiator, Equity staff included Patrick Lee, Joel Carlton and Kathy Herrera.

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