God, I Need This Job
December 4, 2015 6:04 PM   Subscribe

RIP: Workshops. WTF is a Lab? "Now you're confused. 'Then, what's a Lab?' 'It's the exact same thing as a workshop, but without the good shit."

How do Broadway shows come to be? Well....
posted by Charity Garfein (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bennett worked out an agreement with Equity for any of the performers involved—with either the taped recordings or the original workshop—to receive one-half of the one-percent of the weekly box office gross receipts designated for the author. Why? Because not only were the dancers co-creating the show, they were also getting paid a fairly shitty weekly wage in exchange for their heavy collaboration.

Wait a second? There was an Equity contract under which actors got subsidiary rights?

The Dramatists Guild has been fighting subsidiary rights for years. It's mostly a conflict between playwrights and the non-profit theatre companies that produce their world premieres. This is an older NYT article, but it describes the issue well. The Dramatists Guild has mostly been winning on this issue -- here's an article specifically on how the Public Theatre changed their contracts in 2010.

I understand how this contract came to be -- in the case of A Chorus Line, these were these performers' stories. In a weird way, it's almost a devised theatre piece. However, unlike the actor represented in the article, I'm not surprised that they're gone.

I also find the stance that directors, playwrights, composers, and choreographers are robber barons a little bit hard to take, but then again, I'm a playwright and director, so I'm not unbiased.

I'd love to know what the Broadway Senior thinks of the whole LA 99 Seat Contract issue, where a portion of Actors' Equity members in LA sued the union because of a wage hike. The new contract requires theatres to pay minimum wage, whereas the old contract would allow theatres to only pay actors $7 a day. But it also allowed actors to work on projects of their own and projects that are more artistically satisfying in an environment where their main income would be from their SAG work.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:38 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

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