Friday, March 16, 2007

heating up

Even though sleet and freezing rain lash my windows as I type, the temperature is rising on the AEA Showcase Reform issue. Two items:

Paul Bargetto has started a blog for The League of Independent Theaters. Go to http://leagueofindietheater.blogspot.com. Paul's the one who first turned me on to the L.A. 99 Seat Theater Plan.

And Ben Hodges new book Commercial Theater Insitute's Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals is out and and in the preface he describes the Code as "the greatest plight I believe facing developmental theater producing in New York."

He goes on to say:

"I have been unable in over three years to find anything ultimately beneficial in the Code to either producers or actors - in fact, all aspects are strictly antithetical to the goals of all members of a production, especially actors."

This book should be hitting a lot of desks around town, so the time to form the argument and make the case is now.

2 comments:

nick said...

Hi John,

A couple different theatre blogs have picked this up and I’ve written essentially the same comment at each. You and I have been at the different end of things before, but I don’t want you to think I’m not with you on this. I agree completely in an alteration to the LA code or some variation of such. That change would undoubtedly benefit all in the Off-Off community, especially actors, and bring more theatre to the city. But this proposal will only have authority if Equity actors in the city are mobilized around it. This is something that’s very possible. Actors in the city would support this change, but the proposal coming out in this manner is wrongheaded.

It’s presumptuous and condescending for any group of playwrights, directors, and producers to speak on how actors should regulate their union. A much better approach would be to solicit independent actors to join in a “League of Independent Artists” or similar. The human capital and sweat equity of playwrights, directors, and actors are the real “producers” of Off-Off, not the money per se. I think if the League and the proposal came from a place that centers here would have a chance to gain membership/momentum.

John said...

Nick,

We're in essential agreement on this.