Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OPEN QUESTION: Actor's Unions Worldwide

Hopefully I'll get a chance to respond to the money/quality questions that Gus raised, but the article that brought my attention to it also responded to my post laying blame on actors in dangerous conditions on Actors' Equity's refusal to update the showcase code.

Chris Wilkinson responds by saying:
So maybe it's fortunate that the UK version of Equity manages to find a much saner balance.
Which leads me to my question: does the UK version of Equity manage a saner balance?

That's not rhetorical, that's a real question: how do other unions work in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, etc. -- specifically in reference to independent theater (which at least here in NY we define as working in theaters under 100 seats, with budgets around $10-20,000 per show)?

What restrictions do these unions put on independent theaters? Do most independent theaters work under contracts with those unions, or do most operate using non-unionized actors?

I'd love to learn from some global readers.