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Actors’ Equity issues deadline for Development Agreement negotiations

The union for professional actors and stage managers is currently bargaining with the Broadway League.

Stephen Bogardus (lower right) and other actors advocating for an adjusted development contract in 2019 (Credit: Walter McBride/Getty Images)

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) has set a deadline for its current negotiations with the Broadway League regarding the Development Agreement.  If “meaningful progress” is not made by June 17, AEA will not issue any further Development Agreements. 

The union, which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers, has been in discussions about this contract since Jan. 22. The most recent Development Agreement expired on Feb. 11.

Created in 2019, the Development Agreement is a restructure of the previous Lab, Workshop and Stage Reading Agreements. The restructuring of the contract included the significant change that actors and stage managers would “share in the success of productions they helped develop when those productions became hits.”

Among the union’s goals for the new contract are increased pre-production for stage managers, audition access for development work and wage increases that keep pace with inflation.

“We have tried every way we know to reach an agreement with the Broadway League, but if they don’t see a way to take our concerns seriously, there is no way forward on the Development Agreement,” said Equity negotiating team chair Stephen Bogardus. “We love doing the work of creating Broadway’s future hits, but we need to be treated as equal partners at the bargaining table. Unless and until the Broadway League is willing to make meaningful changes, actors and stage managers will not do this work.”

The Broadway League chose not to comment on the negotiations.