Off Broadway Roundup

Volume CVII, No. 11November, 2007

Mary Donovan

Over the past several months, Local 802 concluded several Off Broadway negotiations.

One of these included finalizing agreement terms for the MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB Stage I and Stage II theatres. Our initial meeting with the employer was in late 2005. It is always helpful when we are able to get employers to sign the Commercial Off Broadway Area Standards (Local 802’s “pink book”), as that eliminates a lot of the basic negotiations that have to take place. An employer like Manhattan Theatre Club requires a lot more time and attention, including both sides enlisting the services of attorneys. Our attorney for this past negotiation was Harvey Mars. He did a terrific job and kept us all on track. Manhattan Theatre Club, a nonprofit, has two Off Broadway theatres — Stage I and Stage II — as well as owning the Biltmore which is classified as a LORT (regional) theatre. Stage I has 299 seats and Stage II has 150. The basic wages and terms for performing musicians are consistent with other nonprofit Off Broadway contracts, with wage increases of 3 percent per year. Music prep for both theatres pays 80 percent of the Broadway agreement, with the same language as the Broadway contract.

The VINEYARD THEATRE AND WORKSHOP COMPANY is one of several companies that are members of the Association of Not-for-Profit Theatre Companies (ANTC). Improvements in this renewed agreement include a 3 percent per year wage increase for performances and rehearsals. Our major improvement, however, came in the terms and language covering music prep. In this we were ably assisted by 802’s Music Prep Administrator Steve Danenberg. Music prep wages remain at 80 percent of the General Price List. However, the health benefits were increased to $25 per day (up from $18.50), and the previous cap on contributions per production was raised to $1,000 (up from $400) in the first year of the contract. These caps rise to $1,100 in the second year and $1,200 in the third. ANTC companies operate on a seven-performance week.

Our contract with the BAY STREET THEATRE includes a 5 percent increase in the first year of a two-year agreement and 5 percent raise in the second year. Side musician wages for performances are $759.61 per week for eight performances, including a 6 percent vacation. Pension pays 9 percent and health is capped at $70 per week with a built-in option for an increase if plan A eligibility increases.

“FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: RUDE AWAKENING” was negotiated as a three-year agreement retroactive to Aug. 2, 2006. The performance wages are $884.15, including vacation for the solo musician. There is a 2 percent increase in all wages as of the second year of the agreement. Pension pays 9 percent and health is $60.50 per week with an automatic increase of $2.50 per week in each year of the contract. Music preparation pays 100 percent of General Price List.

“THE GLORIOUS ONE” — being performed at the 299-seat nonprofit Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre — pays $848.34, which includes a guaranteed double of 12.5 percent. In addition, musicians earn 6 percent vacation. Pension pays 9 percent and health is $24 per service, capped at $72 per week. Music Preparation pays 100 percent of General Price List.

“WALMARTOPIA” and “THREE MO’ TENORS” have signed on to the terms of the “pink book.”

For more specific information on theatres and productions listed above, check back to the Wage & Contract section of this site. Not all shows and contracts are on the Web site yet, so please contact me if there are questions or you need additional information. I’m at (212) 245-4802, ext. 156 or


As Allegro goes to press, we’re concluding a contract for “Frankenstein,” which would cover six musicians, and we’re working on a contract with Lincoln Center for “South Pacific,” which will include a 30-piece orchestra and conductor!