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January 16, 2004

Equity's Central Regional Board Names Negotiating Team For Upcoming CAT (Chicago Area Theatre) Contract Negotiations

Negotiations Begin January 21, 2004

At its meeting of January 5, 2004, the CRB (Central Regional Board) of Actor's Equity approved proposals for the upcoming Equity-CAT Contract negotiations, which will begin on January 21, 2004 in Chicago.

The CRB designated Equity Councilor and CRB Board member Dev Kennedy as Chair of the Negotiating Team. The Chief Negotiator will be Equity's Central Regional Director, Kathryn V. Lamkey. The PACT (Producers' Association of Chicago Area Theatres) team will be headed by Criss Henderson, who is PACT's President and is also Executive Director of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

The CAT (Chicago Area Theatre) contract is one of Equity's most important regional contracts, governing employment at more than 50 professional theatres in the Windy City and environs, including such theatres as Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare and Victory Gardens as well a many of the smaller off-loop theatres.

In 2002-2003 season, the CAT Agreement generated over 7500 workweeks, and over $ 3.6 million dollars in earnings for Equity actors and stage managers in the Central Region.

The current CAT Agreement was only for 19-months and will expire on February 29, 2004.

"We are looking forward to serious and cordial discussions with PACT," said Lamkey. "The CAT contract generates hundreds of jobs for our members annually, and is one of the most significant contracts in our region," she added.

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