The Basement Escape Room Organizes With Actors' Equity Association

The Los Angeles–based interactive experience will become the first unionized escape room in the United States.

By: Aug. 01, 2023
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The performers at The Basement escape room in Sylmar have announced they are unionizing with Actors' Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre.

These workers have filed for recognition with the National Labor Relations Board, and if their employer fails to offer them voluntary recognition, they are confident that the NLRB will certify their signed commitment cards. This will make The Basement's California location the first unionized escape room in the United States.  

The award-winning escape room first opened in 2014 and also has locations in Kansas City and Las Vegas. Three of the four L.A. experiences utilize live performers as groups of visitors attempt to solve puzzles as they work their way through an interactive horror story. 

“We all dedicate our time to give our visitors thrilling, engaging experiences,” said Basement worker Stephanie Delazeri. “We deserve safer working conditions, fairer pay and a clear line of communication with management. And we especially deserve that when our employers make us promises, they keep them.” 

“We are overextended and underpaid,” said Basement worker Dylan Belardinelli. “With a union at our backs, we can fix longstanding problems and ensure our continued success at The Basement.” 

“Immersive experiences are more popular than ever, and these jobs present unique challenges,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors' Equity Association. “That said, Equity has experience handling interactive theatre. While the goal is for the audience to be part of a show that feels spontaneous, seamless and real, there's no question that these escape room workers are performing skilled acting and stage management duties. They deserve union protection, and it's awesome that they chose Equity as their partner in taking the next step.” 

The unionization effort at The Basement is the latest in a series of Equity's recent organizing campaigns, which have included successfully forming bargaining units of planetarium lecturers and strippers in Los Angeles and at Drunk Shakespeare companies across the country. Equity encourages all workers in live performance who feel they would benefit from a union contract to contact the union's organizing department at


ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.


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