‘State’ fair deal is reached

NEW YORK — After months of contentious negotiations, Actors’ Equity Assn. and the producers of the touring “State Fair” starring John Davidson have reached an agreement on a union contract.

The agreement on a low-cost contract was reached nearly two months after Equity pledged to mount a nationwide publicity campaign against the show. In June the union also said it would take “appropriate steps to discipline” Davidson for his “betrayal.”

But recent negotiations between Equity and producer Ken Gentry’s NETworks company apparently proved more fruitful. In an agreement tailored for the modestly budgeted “State Fair,” Equity OK’d a contract with costs lower than the union’s standard production contract.

Under the agreement, the producer’s guarantee in each market — the minimum ticket sales amount pledged by lo-cal presenters to the producer — can not exceed $200,000. Under the union’s standard production contract, musi-cal guarantees are generally 50% to 75% higher than the “State Fair” guarantees.

Alan Eisenberg, Equity’s exec director, said the modified contract would be used as an “experiment” for the fu-ture. “This kind of touring contract, while not consummate, will be a viable job option for many Equity mem-bers,” he said.

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