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November 7, 2003

Actors' Equity Urges Theatregoers to Miss MISS SAIGON at NJPAC Featuring The Jobless Chronicles
Newark rally 1

Members of CWA (Communications Workers of America) Local 1081 came out to support the demonstration. From right, Essex-West Hudson Labor Council President Thomas P. Giblin and 1081 President David Weiner. A student from Rutgers University (center) was movitated to major in labor relations based on the event.

Newark rally 2

(L-R) Equity's Internal Organizer John V. Fahey, National Director, Organizing, Flora Stamatiades, with MOVIN' OUT Production Stage Manager Tom Barlett

Newark rally 3

(L-R) Tonianne Robinson, Jaye Maynard and CWA's Tatiana Ramos

Newark rally 4

(L-R) John V. Fahey, Jennifer Winkler and Equity Councillor Scott Watanabe

Following on the heels of the star-studded demonstration in New York City's Duffy Square, Actors' Equity sponsored a demonstration on Thursday, November 6th at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ, where the controversial non-Equity touring production of MISS SAIGON, produced by Big League Theatricals, landed this week.

Equity Actors, Stage Managers and labor supporters from other unions rallied in front of NJPAC before the matinee as part of Equity's "Fair Wages / All Stages" campaign against non-Equity tours. "Big League continues to bring non-Equity productions to major metropolitan theatrical hubs without providing fair wages and benefits to performers in their productions," said Flora Stamatiades, Equity's National Director, Organizing. "Repeated requests by Equity to negotiate a contract for MISS SAIGON have been ignored."

The event was prominently featured in New Jersey's largest daily newspaper, The Star Ledger.

Non-Equity shows are frequently advertised with Equity productions as part of a "Broadway Series," and ticket prices for non-Equity shows are often similar to Equity prices. This deceptive advertising misleads the public and cheapens the Broadway brand. NJPAC is presenting MISS SAIGON, advertising it as "Broadway without the hassle of the Hudson."

THE JOBLESS CHRONICLES, a rousing one-act musical based on true life stories by American workers, entertained the crowd. The musical was commissioned by Actors' Equity to draw attention to issues such as joblessness, layoffs, and the health insurance crisis, including actors working for exploitive non-Equity producers.

At the rally, supporters included a contingent from Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1081 (David Weiner, President), transit workers, and Essex-West Hudson Labor Council President Thomas P. Giblin. Also supporting Equity's efforts was Stanton Davis, the AFM's MPTF Liason and Assistant to the director.

Among the Equity supporters were: Robert Baneky, Tom Barlett, Stephen Berger, Minda Carol, Engle Conrow, Bobby Dearfield, Walter Dixon, Romain Fruge, Jean Lee, Jaye Maynard, Tonianne Robinson, Janet Saia, Oksana Stasy, Ed Washington and Jennifer Winkler; and Councillors Paul V. Ames and Scott Watanabe.

The rally was coordinated by John V. Fahey, Equity's Internal Organizer and overseen by Flora Stamatiades. Participating staff members included: David Lotz, Karen Nothmann, Jeff Stanley, and Kim Shaw.

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