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    Updated April 21, 2010

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Producer of Off Broadway's TONY 'N TINA'S WEDDING Keeps Equity Actors After Threatening to Go Non-Union

The cast of New York's long running TONY 'N TINA'S WEDDING were sure they were headed towards divorce when the producers sent a notice that the company would be moving to a "non-union" venue and offered the cast their roles if they "resign from Actors' Equity Union."

It had already been a rollercoaster for the cast, many of whom had been with the show for seven or more years. They had been performing at a venue when they first got word that the show would shut down until further notice. Then came the communication about the non-union venue. While the cast were left scratching their heads, Equity's staff received word from the producer that the show would reopen non-union.

Because a series of email exchanges with the producer yielded nothing, Equity filed an Unfair Labor Practice on Thursday, April 8th. Media was quick to pick up on the rift and the cast was eager to use the momentum to push the issue. A meeting of the Equity cast and staff resulted in plans for hand-billing that Saturday night. Word of the plans went out via Facebook and Twitter, and many people posted or tweeted their support.

While all the behind the scenes work was being planned, the producers reached out to Eastern Regional Director Rick Berg, and agreed to utilize the Equity contract, with the understanding that a meeting would be held later to discuss non-economic changes to the contract. Kudos to Business Rep Kathy Mercado and Senior Business Rep Russell Lehrer for their efforts in the TONY 'N TINA'S WEDDING success story.

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