Actors’ Equity, the union representing actors and stage managers in live theater, is praising the $2 trillion Senate bill for the expansion of access to unemployment benefits that the bill will afford to arts and entertainment workers. The bill, which gives unemployed workers an extra $600 a week on top of their regular state benefits for four months — and $1,200 to most tax-payers — is expected to be approved by the House shortly.
“On Broadway alone,” the union said, “16 shows were scheduled to open during the period when all shows were suspended. One off-Broadway venue has postponed 109 shows impacting the livelihoods of 37 actors. For those who lost work who had not begun the job, the bill will create new access to claim unemployment.