After a strike lasting 33 days, Actors’ Equity has made a deal with the producers trade association the Broadway League to give a fraction of successful Broadway shows’ profits to its performers and stage managers. The move is intended to acknowledge the vital role founding cast members play in the development of new shows. According to the New York Times, actors and stage managers will split 1 percent of the show’s profits after it recoups its initial investment, a contract that “will last for 10 years and will include money generated by touring productions.”
The deal is designed to more accurately reflect the work, in the form of character creation and other input, that a show’s founding members put in during development labs that take place before a show reaches Broadway. Some shows, including Frozen and Mean Girls, already voluntarily profit share. Friday’s agreement also includes a pay raise for union members, sets minimum rehearsal weeks, and adds health and pension benefits.
“We are happy that we were able to successfully restructure the previous pre-production agreements,” said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “We are thrilled that our producers can now go back to the important work of developing the best theatre in the world.” The strike was the first of its kind for Actors’ Equity in nearly half a century.