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Actors’ Equity, League of Resident Theatres reach new agreement

Written by
Kris Vire

Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing stage actors and stage managers, says it has reached a new agreement for a five-year contract with the League of Resident Theatres, the association of 72 nonprofit regional theaters across the country.

The agreement includes salary increases that range from 16 to 81.7 percent across the span of the contract, according to a summary of the plan provided to Time Out; raises will be retroactive to February 13, when the previous LORT contract expired. (The agreement still needs to be approved by Equity members; those members who worked under a LORT contract during the last contract cycle will cast their votes over the next 10 days.)

The new agreement also increases the number of contracts for principal and chorus performers and stage managers. Other provisions include increased pay for stage managers during tech weeks and higher increments for dance captains and fight captains. The new contract also calls for preventative physical therapy on shows running more than eight weeks with heavy choreography, along with an additional $1.7 million in employer contributions to the Equity Health Fund.

“This was an incredibly difficult negotiation for Equity, but in the end, we have a contract that will deliver immediate wage increases to Equity Members and create more work opportunities for Equity principal actors, members of the chorus and stage managers over the contract,” AEA executive director Mary McColl said in a statement. “We have been making steady improvements in all our agreements over the past bargaining cycles but we have made the broadest and deepest achievements yet in this contract. This contract may have taken months of work, but it will make a difference for Equity members on day one.”

LORT members include some of the country’s biggest nonprofit institutions, including New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company and Manhattan Theatre Club, California’s Center Theatre Group, Berkeley Rep and La Jolla Playhouse, and dozens more in between the coasts.

The three Chicago-area theaters operating under LORT contracts are the Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre and Northlight Theatre. Most Chicago theaters working under Equity contracts operate under the Chicago Area Theatre agreement, which is negotiated separately.

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