LA STAGE Alliance invites producers who work in intimate theaters — especially those who work under Actors’ Equity Association’s 99-Seat Theater Plan — to one or more meetings in the next few weeks, in order to discuss their ongoing relationship with the theatrical unions (notably Equity).
It is very important that as many companies/producers as possible participate in one or more of the meetings listed below ““ in order to get the entire 99-seat producing community on the same page about all collaborations and negotiations with AEA and Stage Directors and Choreographers, which will be coming up in the near future.Â No specific contract changes have been identified yet, and AEA has explicitly stated thatÂ “There has never been at any time recently, nor will there be, any serious discussion of eliminating Plan-type productions in Los Angeles.”Â Â So nothing devastating is about to occur… but the community should be prepared for changes that will likely be implemented in the next year or two.
AEA and SDC are interested in having a collaborative process. Because most 99-seat theater producers haven’t met about these issues since the 1980s, many members of the community have suggested that this might be a good time to finally get all the producers together and create a clear process to collaborate/negotiate with the unions.
The four meetings described below are specifically for 99-seat producers. Those operating at the “midsize” contract level will be invited to a separate meeting — please contact LA STAGE Alliance at email@example.com forÂ details.Â Similarly, if you are not a producer, but rather an individual artist who wants to meet and discuss issues related to union contracts, please contact LA STAGE.
Producers are welcome to attend more than one meeting. The first three meetings, though loosely identified as being for different groups, are still open to all.Â Â If you are not available on the day or time of the meeting for the group that you identify with, please feel free to come to one of the other meetings.
Goals for the Meetings:
1) Clarify the current state of contracts/plans in LA and AEA’s and SDC’s current position and interests
2) Educate everyone about the history of LA small theater plans and contracts ““ for example, in 1989, 11 members of Equity sued their union, and that suit resulted in a settlement agreement and the establishment of a review committee made up of four active 99-seat producers and four AEA officials
3) Let everyone’s voice be heard, to make sure the entire range of concerns, ideas and issues are publicly on the table (a list of ideas compiled from the community by LA STAGE in the last year is available here), and
4) Come to agreement on a process in which ongoing constructive dialogue can happen with the unions, in a way that all 99-seat producers feel appropriately represented.
It is very important that as many companies/producers as possible participate in one or more of these meetings. Please make every effort to make sure that you, or someone from your organization, can attend.
Please also spread the word so that this can be a community-wide engagement process to everyone’s benefit.Â Â LA STAGE Alliance will be making every effort to directly email and call every 99-seat theater in Greater Los Angeles, but additional distribution through all networks will be important.
MEETING DATES AND LOCATIONS
Meeting #1 – Primarily for producers of staff-driven companies, with artists who come and go for each production, that produce regularly (every year).
April 14, 1 pm – Skylight Theatre
1816 North Vermont, LA, 90027.
Street parking, meters and pay lots available.
Meeting #2 – Primarily for producers of membership-driven companies, in which a group of consistent artists control and lead the company, that produce regularly (every year).
April 22, 7 pm – 24th Street Theatre
1117 W 24thÂ St. (@ S. Hoover), LA, 90007.
Street parking and pay lot located across the street from the theater.
Meeting #3 – Primarily for independent producers, producers not currently attached to a company,Â producers who primarily run rental houses, and companies/producers who produce irregularly (not every year).
May 12, 11 am-2 pm BootlegÂ Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd, LA, 90057.
Street parking available.
General Meeting – For ALL 99-seat producers to attend together
May 20, 7 pm – Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Blvd,Â Â Culver City 90232.
Street parking and free covered parking located in Culver City’s City Hall on Duquesne ““ for a map, see www.centertheatregroup.org/visit/directions.aspx.
Notes from all meetings will be broadly distributed by email, social media, list-serves and prominently on the LA STAGE website after each meeting.Â Please make every effort to attend if you possibly can.
If you have any questions, please contact LA STAGE Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, and see you at the meetings!
LA STAGE Alliance and your fellow producersÂ in the 99-seat community, including:
Gary Grossman (Katselas Theatre Company), Simon Levy (Fountain Theatre), Joe Stern (Matrix Theatre), Tom Ormeny (Victory Theatre), John Flynn (Rogue Machine), Ron Sossi (Odyssey), Matt McCray (Son of Semele Ensemble), Jay McAdams (24th St. Theatre), Jessica Hanna (Bootleg Theater), Lindsay Allbaugh (Elephant Theatre Company), Michael Seel (Theatre @ Boston Court), Gedaly Guberek (Coeurage Theatre), Sean Branney (Theatre Banshee), David Elzer, and many others…
A list of AEA-related concerns from the theater community, compiled through a long series of roundtables in the last 18 months:Â http://lastagetimes.com/pdf/2012OrganizedAEAConcernsIdeas.pdf
A series of articles from the LA Times about the “˜Waiver Wars’ and lawsuits of the 1980s: http://lastagetimes.com/pdf/LATimesWaiverWarsArticles.pdf
The actual 1989 legal settlement at the end of the “˜Waiver Wars’: http://lastagetimes.com/pdf/SettlementAgreement.pdf