Equity, Off-Broadway Theatres Announce New 5-Year Contract

The union and #FairWageOnstage activists praise a ‘historic’ though as yet unspecified pay increase.

NEW YORK CITYActors’ Equity Association and the Off-Broadway League announced today that they have reached an agreement for a new 5-year contract for actors and stage managers who work at commercial and non-profit theatres in New York City. Though the union and others close to the negotiation have called the wage increases “historic,” details about those increases will be released at a later time, a union spokesperson said.

The agreement comes after six months of negotiation and a concerted social media campaign by actors organized around the hashtag #FairWageOnstage. The contract also reunites the smaller Off-Broadway theatres, previously known as the Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies (ANTC), with the commercial and not-for-profit theatres represented by the Off-Broadway League. Now all Off-Broadway houses will be represented under one contract.

In a release, Kate Shindle, Actors’ Equity’s president, said, “This is historic in so many ways. The wage increases will allow actors and stage managers to continue to do the work that we love Off-Broadway while being able to support ourselves financially.” Members of the FairWage group also released a statement applauding producers “for taking this bold step in agreeing to a historic increase in wages for actors and stage managers.” It was widely publicized by FairWage organizers that the current minimum weekly wage Off-Broadway is $593, and that they were asking for that to be raised to $810.

Adam Hess, Off-Broadway League’s president, said in a statement, “Off-Broadway has always been a fair and progressive leader in the theatre community. We champion new voices, we have been at the forefront of diversity on our stages, and we are proud to also support our actors and stage managers with a fair wage.”

Federal mediators Javier Ramirez and David Thaler assisted in helping the parties bridge their differences in reaching the agreement.

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