Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said, “We are pleased to reach an agreement that offers reasonable benefits to all parties. This contract, renegotiated, addresses important areas for producers and provides opportunities for industry growth by updating working conditions to meet the needs of a modern Broadway production. We are pleased to inform you that the Actors` Equity Association has reached a preliminary agreement with the Broadway League for a new production contract. The National Council discussed the proposed agreement at a special session on 19 September and recommends that you vote “YES” in the ratification vote. Mary McColl, Executive Director of Equity, said in a statement: “This agreement is an asset to Equity members, who will have stronger and safer financial security for jobs, and for the industry as a whole, because we have ensured that Broadway theatre can continue to grow and prosper.” The Short Engagement Touring Agreement (SETA) is negotiated for tours of plays and musicals with guarantees below a certain threshold and is limited to that. This agreement contains provisions for weekend and one-night commitments that allow for flexible performance planning as well as international tours. Productions must be eligible for use on the basis of casting size, truck cost and average weekly warranty. Free accommodation and the pro scheme are made available to all actors outside their permanent residence by the producer. All players will receive contributions for a 401 (k) plan as well as health and pension benefits. The agreement includes six categories of qualifications that govern the minimum wage. Equity members participate in a percentage of the overrun that the producer earns and, as soon as a show resumes its original investment, that participation rate increases, as does the minimum wage.
This agreement was made possible by the foundations laid during the negotiations on a new development agreement and the negotiations on the “Short Engagement Touring”. During the year, Equity secured a commitment from the Broadway League to negotiate a new single tour agreement. Our goal is to use a combined agreement for stricter conditions. For this reason, salary increases for visits beyond 28.09.2020 are not included in this agreement, as they are negotiated in the new travel contract. The three-year contract provides for annual salary increases of 3.5 per cent, as shown in a summary sent to Equity members and published below. In addition, it increases the so-called media tax to 2.5 per cent of the minimum wage from the current 2 per cent (US$41.90 to $54.20). The add-on compensates actors for audio and video recordings for advertising or other purposes and is mandatory for musical productions. I tend to keep things pretty easily here at 101 OF THE ROUTE.
This blog aims to give a fundamental overview of the business of the commercial theater tour, without being technical overall. Nevertheless, I found at the Actors`Equity Association a useful link called TOURING 102, which presents some hypotheses showing how the balance sheets of a producer and a moderator are influenced according to the different warranty and gross income scenarios. It`s a little more advanced than what I usually get here, but, hey, it`s good to train these brain cells from time to time! The Touring 102 article also provides a good overview of the risks and earning requirements that a producer must take into account when creating and booking a tour, as well as what a moderator might generally take into account when creating a season. The current agreement began on April 29, 2019 and expires on November 1, 2020. While the introduction of marches has led to more touring work for union actors, Equity felt that there were still too many tours that did not emit equity.