Actors’ Equity Wants to Educate Chicago Audiences on Union Vs. Nonunion Tours

Logo-Actors-Equity

Would you know the difference between a union and a nonunion national tour? Actors’ Equity is trying to distinguish between the two so that audiences are educated on the quality of the production.

In September, the theatre actors’ union began an online campaign in Chicago to let people know the differences between an Equity tour and a production using nonunion actors. The goal is to have bookers bring more Equity tours to their cities and give union actors more work.

The publicity hasn’t been cheap though. The union spent a low five-figure sum to get the word out on sites like Hot Tix and Theatre Loop. They are hoping that this will affect ticket sales at the box office.

“The word ‘Broadway’ gets used a lot by touring shows in cities across the country, but some of them have nothing to do with Broadway — so why are audiences paying as much for them as they would for Broadway shows?” said Mary McColl, the executive director of Equity. “I think a lot of audience members are discerning, and we’re asking them to vote with their feet.”

Over the years, nonunion tours have gained momentum because they are cheaper to produce than Equity tours. Union actors are paid higher salaries and the production values are often equal to that of the Broadway show.

While Equity has not seen any hard evidence that their campaign is working, they are pleased with the 12,000 unique visitors who have checked out their site. It is a bigger number than they expected.

Not everyone is a fan of the campaign though because nonunion tours are where younger actors gain experience before they turn Equity. A nonunion tour doesn’t always mean lesser performances.

Martin Charnin, the director of the original Annie on Broadway as well as the show’s lyricist, said, “I’ve worked with brilliant Equity actors, terrible Equity actors, brilliant nonunion actors, terrible nonunion actors. What matters most is the way audiences respond.”

Actors’ Equity is thinking about expanding the campaign beyond Chicago, so the fight between union and nonunion tours is definitely not over yet.

Vis The New York Times

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/jason-bateman-ozark.jpg
Jason Bateman Thinks He’s the “Worst” When Directing Other Actors
"I'm assuming they're doing the best job they can. I'm assuming that they're playing the part the way they want to play it." - Jason Bateman
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/michael-stuhlbarg-shape-of-water.jpg
Michael Stuhlbarg: ” I don’t know if I’ve ever played someone who I’ve had absolute contempt for”
"Sometimes the work can be so hard that you have to remind yourself why you took the job in the first place" - Michael Stuhlbarg
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/alicia-silverstone-killing-of-a-sacred-deer.jpg
Alicia Silverstone on ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ and Working on Broadway
"My agent called and said, 'You need to go on this thing. It’s worth it. You should start preparing immediately" - Alicia Silverstone
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/denzel-washington-roman-j-israel-esq.jpg
Denzel Washington on ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ and Why He Keeps Coming Back to Broadway
"I’m interested in different challenges, and challenging myself and just trying to get better." - Denzel Washington
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/chadwick-boseman-black-panther.jpg
Chadwick Boseman on Playing Black Panther: “I love him because the fantasy of playing a ruler – you never get to do that”
Boseman talks about portraying T'Challa's unique background on screen.