Following the launch of a strike yesterday, members of Actors’ Equity association, the national labor union for professional stage managers and actors in live theatre, have hit the streets, asking audiences to join Equity’s fight for a stronger Lab Agreement with the Broadway League. Today Equity members greeted ticket buyers outside the Broadway TKTS location and asked them to join the #NotALabRat campaign. Audience members who supported the campaign were given one of Equity’s #NotALabRat buttons to wear into their shows.
After nearly two years of unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a new contract to replace the Lab Agreement with the Broadway League, members of Actors’ Equity Association declared the strike calling for a halt to all new show development work with members of the Broadway League.
The Lab Agreement with the Broadway League is a contract used for the development of new productions, often musicals. Weekly salaries on the agreement have been frozen since 2007. The strike was authorized by Equity’s National Council and follows media reports that 2018 was Broadway’s highest-ever grossing year on record.
With the strike, Equity has placed its Lab Agreement, Workshop Agreement and Staged Reading Contract and Stage Reading guidelines with the Broadway League on its DO NOT WORK list.