New York— Actors’ Equity Association – the national union for professional stage actors and stage managers working in live theater – released the following statement in response to Wisconsin’s Supreme Court rejecting the extension of the state’s stay-at-home order.

“Today is not the day that Equity theatre should resume in Wisconsin,” said Andrea Hoeschen, Central Regional Director of Actors’ Equity Association. “Equity is working to create and implement safety standards that will protect workers and audiences alike and we are letting the science guide our decisions. Right now, there is unfortunately no way to safely perform live theatre. We hope our members in Wisconsin continue to social distance according to scientific guidelines.” 

Hundreds of Equity members live in Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee-Madison metropolitan areas, which are still under municipal stay-at-home orders, are a joint designated Liaison Area of high union activity. 

Last month, Equity announced that public health expert Dr. David Michaels, who formerly led OSHA for President Obama, will consult for the union to help develop new model health and safety standards for COVID-19. Dr. Michaels is key to helping Equity develop a plan where member safety is put first and decisions are made with a clear safety and scientific basis. 

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 

May 14, 2020