Sunday, November 11, 2007

  • local 1 strike, day 4: the dark holds out

    for my money, this new times article gives a very fair and complete breakdown of the current broadway strike: Broadway's Showdown

    basically, it explains why and how the producers' league wants more flexibility in numbers of stage hands for a given show on given days. it also explains how the union is resisting.

    i've also learned why some shows aren't affected by the strike: certain theatres, including the disney owned ones, operate under an exclusive contract that is negotiated separately. so these handful of shows can remain open. unfortunately for everyone involved with the Grinch which is part of the general league, the union is forcing them to participate in the strike, despite the special contract that Grinch works under due to its seasonal contract. this is major for everyone involved in that show b/c they only perform for the holidays. strike = no shows = no income = no salaries. even their stage hands are begging to go on.

    of course, it's not just us. the NY Daily News reports: "Already, the estimated losses for the city have skyrocketed to as high as $17 million a day."

    neither side is even talking. and the local 1 strike affects us much more severely than the better publicized writers strike--no one can cross these pickets lines. the shows can't throw up reruns, skip certain sections, or use pre-prepared material. nope. as one of my coworkers, who has been forced to call every invitee to our opening, put it "we can't even open the doors and have a conversation. the stage hands have the keys."
    though in fairness, no other unions want to cross the picket lines. everyone had their own negotiations coming up and don't want to jeopardize support from either local 1 or the producers' league. so they are pretty much laying low.

    our show's opening is definitely postponed. no matter when the strike ends, we will need at least a rehearsal, a preview, and a press show, at the very least before the opening. but of course, tickets have already been sold for all the dates we are now eating in to.
    people's guests, their parents and friends, are having to eat the cost of plane tickets, hotels, etc. with no idea when they might get to see the show. sad.

    for me, well, truthfully i'll probably make a bit more out of it. i have longer to design and put together material for the opening, though the dates will always be wrong. plus i'll rack up more hours. but i don't have to feel right doing it.

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