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February 9, 2005

Actors' Equity Approves New Contract for Historic Cape Playhouse

Health Contributions Gain In Four-Year Pact!

Former "COST II" Theatres, Westport Country Playhouse and Ogunquit Playhouse, Will Be Negotiated Individually

Equity's Eastern Regional Board (ERB), at its meeting on January 11, 2005, approved terms for a new four-year contract with the Cape Playhouse, Dennis, MA. The 78-year Playhouse is one of three historic stock companies, along with the Westport Country Playhouse and the Ogunquit Playhouse, that were formerly designated as COST "Tier II" theatres. Equity is now negotiating with each theatre separately.

The Chief Negotiator for Equity was Senior Business Representative Rick Berg. The Chair of the Negotiating Team was Councillor Thomas Jay Miller. The Cape Playhouse was represented by Evans Haile.

According to Berg, "Equity achieved a significant increase in health contributions, jumping from the current $123 to $170 per week during the term of the agreement. Other gains include a 6.5% increase in salaries; and increases in overtime rates, chorus and dance captain increments. Equity also achieved safety improvements, including a limit on raked stages and an increase in the supplemental workers compensation rates. Advance Stage Managers will receive the same salary increase as Resident Stage Managers, plus an additional $10 in years three and four of the contract."

Berg added that the COST II theatres were no longer affiliated as a collective bargaining association, and had requested individual negotiations. "Equity felt that it was in the best interest of our members to negotiate a tailor-made contract for each theatre. They no longer share the similarities they did when we negotiated collectively. Each theatre's operations are now substantially different."

The Cape Playhouse season begins in June 2005, with I DO, I DO. Negotiations with Westport and Ogunquit are under way.

David Lotz / Communications Director
Maria Somma / Spokesperson

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