Actors' Equity Association Authorizes Development Strike Against the Broadway League

New York – The National Council of Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has voted unanimously to authorize a strike against The Broadway League for work on the Development Agreement. This step does not begin a strike, but it empowers Equity to call one should it become strategically necessary.

The Development Agreement is used for the development of new works by Broadway League producers, usually prior to an intended Production Contract engagement. Equity and the Broadway League have been in negotiations since January 22, 2024. The current agreement expires this Sunday, February 11.

“We know that show development is work,” said Equity Executive Director and Lead Negotiator Al Vincent, Jr. “This development work hopefully leads to successful shows, some of which have long lives with many iterations that can make a lot of money for producers. We know there is no revenue from the development sessions themselves, but it’s still work, and that doesn’t change whether there’s revenue today or whether it’s an investment producers are making against future profits. And that work must be appropriately compensated.”

Equity members went on strike in 2019 over this contract, then called the Lab Agreement. It was the union’s first strike in 50 years, lasting a total of 33 days. If Equity and the Broadway League do not reach a deal and a strike is called, actors and stage managers would refuse to cross the picket line on projects to develop shows aimed at full-scale productions.

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

February 10, 2024