UPDATE: ROCKTOPIA and Actors Equity Reach Tentative Agreement for Choir Contracts
Actors' Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 Actors and Stage Managers, has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Producers of the Broadway production Rocktopia to ensure the production will use wall-to-wall Equity contracts.
The agreement comes after thousands of Equity members heeded the call of their Union and spoke out on social media, asking the producers of Rocktopia to ensure that workers be paid a living wage and put on Equity contracts.
"I hope that every commercial producer who is thinking about a run on Broadway has heard the message loud and clear that all performers on Broadway deserve not only to be fairly compensated but also to have the protection of an Equity contract," said Kate Shindle, President of Actors' Equity Association. "I am encouraged by and grateful for the thousands of Equity members, as well as all the members of our sister unions, who raised their voices over the last two weeks. Those declarations of solidarity led directly to this contract."
The new agreement for the part-time choir members will more than double the pay when compared to what some Equity members reported was offered early in the process, and the agreement will ensure the performers have the protection of Equity contracts.
The agreement comes after good faith negotiations between the parties, initially commenced in late 2017. With the agreement, Rocktopia will also be removed from Equity's Do Not Work list.
Rocktopia is among a handful of productions that come to Broadway but are not automatically covered by Equity contracts, like other Broadway plays and musicals. As part of Equity 2020, Equity has committed to become more aggressive about finding new work opportunities and higher wages for Equity members, wherever they might live and work.
This spring, the international music sensation Rocktopia will rock Broadway for six epic weeks, March 20 - April 29, 2018 at The Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway). Set to open on March 27, 2018, Rocktopia is an explosive musical event that fuses the most iconic 20th-Century rock with world-renowned classical compositions. Five world-class vocalists-backed by a full symphony orchestra, an electrifying rock band and a choir-take music itself to electrifying new heights.
The anthems of Queen and Journey meet the odes of Beethoven. The power of Zeppelin merges with the poetry of Puccini. The greatness of The Who blends with the grandeur of Strauss. This is the one-of-a-kind sound of Rocktopia.
Created through the unique vision of vocalist and recording artist Rob Evanand Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer, a pioneer in the fusion of symphonic rock and world music, Rocktopia delivers completely original, spine-tingling musical arrangements with insanely talented lead vocalists, a 5-piece rock band, a choir of 40, and an orchestra of 20. With extensive knowledge of both genres, Evan and Fleisher looked for common themes, potency, and emotional resonance in the songs before fusing them together to create explosive and moving new musical arrangements.
The groundbreaking live concert will be performed by a celebrated, diverse array of rock, Broadway, and opera vocalists: Rob Evan (Broadway: Les Miserables, Jekyll & Hyde and more, multi-platinum recording artist); Chloe Lowery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Yanni's Voices); Tony Vincent (Broadway: American Idiot, RENT, NBC's "The Voice"); Kimberly Nichole (NBC's "The Voice," performs with Janelle Monae, Slash, Joe Walsh, The Heavy); and featuring Alyson Cambridge (The Merry Widow at The Met, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Show Boat).
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