#EquityWorks: Actors’ Equity Members Have Earned More Than $260,000 in Los Angeles on New 99-Seat Agreement

L.A. Market Remains Strong and Active With a Variety of New Contract Options for Equity Members

Actors’ Equity Association announced today new data showing members have earned more than $263,000 in the two years since the Union’s 99-seat Agreement was introduced to theatres in Los Angeles. Since the contract was introduced, it has been issued 225 times, leading to an average payment of $1,170 per contract.

“This agreement has ensured that more members are paid for every hour that they work,” said Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actor’s Equity. “Now we have members who are taking home $1,100 paychecks for their work, instead of a minimal stipend. Whether it is the 99-seat agreement or others introduced over the last two years, members have more options for working on contract than ever before, and we expect more and more of our members will work and get paid using the 99-seet agreement in the next few seasons.” 

Separately from the 99-Seat Theatre Agreement, the Small Professional Theatre (SPT) contract – introduced to Los Angeles in 2015 – has also given members a new way to work on contract in Los Angeles. Also new since 2015 is the Los Angeles Showcase code, for venues up to 50 seats. Additionally, in more than 60 small theaters designated as Equity Membership Companies, Equity Members can participate in a production without the benefit of an Equity contract. Finally, Members can now self-produce under the L.A. Self-Produced Project Code. 

Equity has seen wages under the 99-seat Agreement grow in each of the two years the contract has been in place. Meanwhile, membership has also grown. More than 500 new members have joined the Union in Los Angeles County since the 99-Seat Agreement was introduced. 

Collectively, the new contracts Equity introduced in 2015 have helped ensure the Los Angeles theatre community remains strong and that members can have the opportunity to be fairly compensated for their work. Under the old system, Los Angeles Equity members were paid a stipend of less than minimum wage for performances. 

Key Provisions of the 99-Seat Agreement:

·         Salary based on minimum wage for all rehearsals and performances

·         Producers must provide workers’ compensation coverage in case of injury as well as

·         unemployment insurance

·         Safe and sanitary protections

·         2-hour minimum call requirement

·         For a cast of four, at least two must be on Equity contract

·         A cast of five to 10 must have at least four Equity contracts

·         A cast of more than 10 must have at least five Equity contracts

·         Absences shall be allowed for industry auditions, other Union work and personal

·         Emergencies

·         Applies to theatres of 99-seats or less in Los Angeles County