Union exerts pressure over Taymor pay
Spidey’s latest foe: The legit director’s union.The Stage Directors and Choreographers’ Society (SDC) has filed an arbitration claim against the producers of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” over unpaid royalties due to the show’s original director, Julie Taymor. It’s long been understood among legiters that Taymor hasn’t yet been paid any royalties for her work on the show, beginning from the tuner’s first preview Nov. 28. Helmer staged the original version of the production that ran for several months before her much-reported exit from the project. A retooled incarnation opened last month under the guidance of helmer Philip William McKinley, credited as creative consultant. Although significant changes have been made to “Spider-Man,” Taymor’s staging work remains on display in the production. She’s currently credited in the show’s program as the original director and as co-writer of the original book. (A new book writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, was brought on board earlier this spring, along with McKinley.) According to SDC exec director Laura Penn, producers of “Spider-Man” have ignored the union’s attempts to resolve the issue. “They have not responded in any way,” she said. “We have no indication of why they’ve chosen not to pay Julie.” According to Penn, the union filed a grievance a month ago with the Broadway League, the trade association of legit producers and presenters, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the League. Now the union has filed for arbitration with an independent arbiter, whose ultimate decision is binding. Scheduling for the hearing remains up in the air, although it’s said that per the agreement, producers of “Spider-Man” must respond to the arbitration filing within 20 days. Reps for “Spider-Man” had no comment on the situation. Show is skedded to open June 14.