Actors’ Equity Association Unionizes Production Assistants on Broadway

New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced that it has organized the production assistants (PAs) who work as part of stage management teams on Broadway and sit-down productions produced by members of The Broadway League. 

These hourly employees work as part of the stage management team from pre-production through opening night, doing everything from preparing rehearsal materials to ensuring decisions made during rehearsals are recorded to being extra sets of hands and eyes during complicated technical rehearsals to efficiently running errands that keep the rehearsal productive. Many are early-career stage managers, some of whom are already members of Equity working on contract in other contexts. PAs are among the only Broadway workers without current union representation. This bargaining unit includes both the current PAs working on about ten productions, as well as about 100 who have worked on Broadway the last two years. 

The PAs are seeking voluntary recognition from The Broadway League, but they are confident that if none is granted, they will overwhelmingly vote to unionize via NLRB election. 

“Getting a Broadway production up and running is an enormous task, and the work of Broadway’s stage management teams prior to opening night is fundamental to any show’s success,” said Erin Maureen Koster, 3rd vice president of Actors’ Equity Association, who represents the union’s stage manager members. “Every one of these workers, whether their title is production stage manager, stage manager, assistant stage manager or production assistant, is a skilled professional and essential to the team. And yet, production assistants have stood alone for too long as the only members of these teams without the basic protections of union contracts – without safe and sanitary workplace requirements, without protections against harassment and discrimination, without living wages, without health and pension benefits.  

“Until now.  

“We are thrilled to support the effort of Broadway’s production assistants to complete the unionization of Broadway’s stage management teams, and we look forward to achieving the fair and meaningful contract they have long deserved.” 

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks  

September 22, 2023