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October 9, 2003

Actor's Equity Approves Letters of Agreement for Ten New York City Theatre Companies for 2003-2004 Season

1700 Work Weeks Generated - Almost 200 Jobs For Actors and Stage Managers!

Actors' Equity has approved Letter of Agreements (LOA) for ten prominent New York City not-for profit theatre companies. The agreements will provide employment for almost 200 Actors and Stage Managers, generating over 1700 work weeks this season. All contracts will also provide health and pension benefits.

According to Equity Business Representative Patrick Lee, the agreements are individually tailored for each theatre, based on the size of its annual operating budget and a "fair share" percentage of the budget for the actors and stage managers. "These developing theatres do some of the most exciting work Off and off-off Broadway, despite recent difficulties in funding and the unstable economic climate, particularly downtown."

Lee added: "Health insurance contributions, paid fully by the producer with no cost to the Actor, have increased dramatically and now represent a significant part of the overall financial package."

Here's a summary of the new Letters of Agreement. For more information about a particular theatre, contact Equity at 212-869-8530.

  • The Adobe Theatre Company was founded in 1991 and produced under Equity's Showcase Code up until last season. This year, Adobe will employ 14 Actors, 2 Stage Managers and 2 Assistant Stage Managers in two productions to be directed by Artistic Director Jeremy Dobrish. Both will be performed at the 99-seat Ohio Theatre. For 2003-2004, minimums are: $197.00 (Actor), $237.00 (Stage Manager), and $216.00 (Assistant Stage Manager). The agreement will generate 124 workweeks and represents 26% of Adobe's annual operating budget.
  • The AMAS Musical Theatre was founded in 1968 by Rosetta LeNoire, whose vision was to create a theatre company grounded in nontraditional, multi-ethnic productions, education and casting. For 36 years the company has maintained its unique and important vision for the musical theatre, producing works that represent a variety of cultural viewpoints while reaching out to underserved audiences. AMAS was also a pioneer in the concept of nontraditional casting and continues to strive in its mission to reflect our diverse society.
    Actors' Equity acknowledges Ms. LeNoire's legacy by bestowing a yearly award in her honor, the Rosetta LeNoire Award, given to companies and producers who exemplify her commitment to multicultural production and casting in the theatre.
    This season, AMAS will mount two productions, using a total of 20 Actors. Minimum salaries are: $250.00 (Actor); $270.00 (Stage Manager); $250.00 (Assistant Stage Manager). The agreement generates 174 workweeks and represents 29% of AMAS' operating budget.
  • The Cherry Lane Alternative was founded in 1997 in residence at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Heretofore, the Alternative has been known for its Mentors Project, partnering developing playwrights with established ones. This season, they will mount two fully-staged productions, including OPEN HEART, a new musical by Robby Benson, with three actors and two stage managers, and a to-be-announced second production.
  • Two developmental works will be presented in the 64 seat Studio Theatre, employing two actors and two stage managers. Main stage salary minimums are $350 (Actor), $420 (Stage Manager) and $385 (Assistant Stage Manager). Studio Theatre minimums are $150 (Actor), and $180 (Stage Manager), respectively. The agreement will generate 122 workweeks and represents 22.5% of the theatre's budget.
  • INTAR (International Arts Relations) Hispanic American Arts Center was founded in 1966 in response to the dearth of opportunities for Hispanic-American theatre and visual artists. Today it is an arts center providing residencies to playwrights, staging theatrical productions and mounting exhibits in its Latin American Gallery.
    This season the company plans to mount three productions, one in the fall, and two in repertory in the spring, using 19 Actors. The shows in repertory are: UNDER THE MANGO TREE by Carmen Rivera and THE OLD MATADOR by Milcha Sanchez-Scott. They will rehearse for 4 weeks, followed by 5 weeks of performances with each production being performed 4 times per week. All productions will be mounted at the theatre's 74-seat home theatre located on West 53rd Street.
    The minimums this season are: Actor-$247.00; Stage Manager - $297.00; Assistant Stage Manager, $272.00. (Note: Actors will be paid 2/7's of contractual salary for the eighth performance in repertory). The agreement will generate 173 workweeks and represents 37% of the theatre's budget.
  • The venerable Irish Repertory Theatre was founded in 1988 and is celebrating its 15th Equity season. Irish Rep is dedicated to producing "cultural, charitable and educational productions based on Irish literature," and will present seven productions in 2003-2004. Tentatively, Irish Rep has announced THE LOVE HUNGRY FARMER, THE COLLEEN BAWN, EDEN, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, BEOWULF, A CHILD XMAS IN WALES and a to-be-determined production.
    Sixty actors and stage managers will be employed this season, with the following minimums: $290.00 (Actor); $350.00 (Stage Manager); $320.00 (Assistant Stage Manager). The overall Equity package represents 26% of the theatre's annual budget.
  • The Juggernaut Theatre Company was founded by a group of Julliard alumni in 1994. This year, Juggernaut will present SILVER NITRATE, written by founder Cathy Caplan at the Blue Heron Arts Center. Eight actors and two stage managers will be employed, with the following minimums -$206 (Actor); $258.00 (Stage Manager); $232.00 (Assistant Stage Manager). The agreement will generate 91 workweeks and represents 46% of the theatre's budget.
  • The LAByrinth Theatre Company, under the direction of Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz, will present two productions at the 99 seat Shiva Theatre at the New York Shakespeare Festival. They anticipate using 17 Actors, at the following minimums: $187.50 (Actor); $225.00 (Stage Manager); and $206.25 (Assistant Stage Manager). Over 200 workweeks will be generated, representing 33% of the theatre's budget.
  • Woody King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre is set to begin its ninth season on an Equity contract. The theatre has a mission to train minorities for careers in the theatre, to bring quality theatre to ethnic groups and to develop and produce plays of interest and merit by minority writers who might not have the opportunity to be produced.
    For the 2003-2004 season, the company will present three productions, using 30 Actors, at the Henry Street Settlement's Abromson Arts Center. Equity has approved the following minimum salaries: Actor-$271.00, Stage Manager $325.00, Assistant Stage Manager - $304.00. This proposal will provide Equity with 263 workweeks, representing 21% of the theatre's budget.
  • Pan Asian Rep was founded in 1977 by Tisa Chang, to promote Asian theatre artists and produce work that reflects a variety of Asian cultures. For financial reasons, the theatre has only been able to mount a single production for the past few seasons. In 2003-04, Pan Asian Rep will mount two productions using eight actors and two stage managers. Both productions will be mounted at the 101-seat West End Theatre at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on West 86th Street. Minimums this season are: Actor - $320.00; Stage Manager - $ 384.00; Assistant Stage Manager - $ 352.00. The agreement will generate 118 workweeks, representing represents 21% of the theatre's budget.
  • Rattlestick Productions was founded in 1994 by David Van Asselt to help new playwrights realize their first professional production. This season will be the theatre's second under a Letter of Agreement. Rattlestick anticipates employing 28 Actors in four productions, at the following minimum salaries: Actor - $200.00; Stage Manager - $240.00; and Assistant Stage Manager $ 220.00. The agreement will generate 256 workweeks, representing 25% of Rattlestick's budget.

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