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September 23, 2003

ACTORS' EQUITY PULLS PICKET LINE - CONCERN FOR ACTORS PARAMOUNT

Late yesterday afternoon Actors' Equity Association, the Union representing 45,000 professional stage actors and stage managers, pulled the picket line it set up to protest the non-Equity company of MISS SAIGON at the Wang Center for the Performing Arts in Boston. The Union began its picket in an attempt to bring Big League Theatricals, the producers of the non-Equity production, to the table to negotiate the fair wages and benefits the actors deserve.

After a full day of picketing honored by the IATSE Local 11 Stagehands and Teamsters Local 25, with additional support from Boston area members of SAG, AFTRA and the musicians, the SAIGON actors themselves began to unload the trucks containing scenery and equipment. At that time, the Equity representatives on the picket line were concerned for the safety of the actors and ended the picket.

According to Flora Stamatiades, the Director of Organizing and Special Projects said: "The safety of the actors is very important to us and we could not in good faith allow the situation continue." Stamatiades also stated that "Actors' Equity Association's commitment to address the issue of non-Equity road shows will not waver."


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