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July 28, 2004

Actors' Equity, ANTC Ratify Historic Three-Year Contract

Substantial Health Rate Increase, Standardized Salaries Highlight New Non-Profit Pact, Starting August 2

New York, NY, July 27, 2004 - Actors' Equity Association and the Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies (ANTC) have ratified an historic new three-year contract, the first collectively bargained agreement for eight prominent not-for-profit New York City theatre companies. The new contract will govern employment for Equity Actors and Stage Managers at the Atlantic Theater Company, Classic Stage Company, MCC Theater, The New Group, Primary Stages, Signature Theatre Company, Vineyard Theatre and Women's Project and Productions.

"Before this negotiation, the Special Agreements with these theatres included identical work rules,” said Equity’s Senior Business Representative and Chief Negotiator Rick Berg. “The new agreement streamlines and standardizes Equity's relationship with these producers. We believe it will result in growth for the theatres, as well as improvements in working conditions and salaries for actors and stage managers.”

In the new pact, health contributions will increase by 35% over the three-year term. Starting on August 2, the health rate will go to $135 in the first year; then to $145 in the second year, and $155 in the third year. Salaries will be standardized in six tiers, based on the theatre’s average weekly box office gross. Depending upon the tier, minimums for Actors will range from $316.00 to $ 415.00 in the first year, increasing to $335.00 to $441.00 by the third year.

In the last 8 years, ANTC Theatres have garnered 3 Pulitzer Prizes, 4 Oppenheimer Awards, 35 Obie Awards, 15 Lucille Lortel Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, 18 Audelco Awards, and more than 50 other prestigious awards. Several of these award-winning productions originally produced at ANTC theatres have continued on in open-ended runs in the commercial arena including Wit, Avenue Q, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. “The work from these theatres has also sparked hundreds of regional theatre productions,” said Jodi Schoenbrun, who was Chief Negotiator for ANTC. “We’re delighted that Equity recognized the importance of these theatres and their contribution through the collective bargaining process.”

The Equity Negotiating team included Irma Rogers (Chair), Mark Aldrich, Joanne Borts, Kate Broderick, Lynn Cohen, Brian Cooper, and Ira Mont. Berg was assisted by Business Representatives Patrick Lee and Keith Sklar. Negotiations began on May 12 and concluded after five negotiating sessions on June 4, 2004. The terms were ratified by Equity’s Eastern Regional Board (ERB) at its meeting on July 20, 2004.

David Lotz
Communications Director
212-869-8530 ext 410

Maria Somma
212-869-8530 ext 425

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