This article was updated at 9:58 p.m.
NEW YORK — After a raucous weekend of final offers, failed talks and controversial deals, Actors’ Equity and the League of American Theaters & Producers reached a tentative agreement Monday afternoon on a new four-year production contract. The two orgs issued a joint statement that effectively ruled out the threat of a strike on Broadway and the road.
“Leadership from both sides will be meeting tomorrow to finalize the details of the contract,” said the statement. “The Equity council will review the agreement and will make a recommendation.”
The new contract then will be voted on by the union membership for ratification.
The two orgs broke off talks late Friday, after which the union made what it called a “final offer.”
Over the weekend, the union proposed to individual Broadway producers an interim agreement that would permit their respective shows to continue running in case of a general strike.
The producers of “The Boy From Oz” immediately signed on, and Equity’s Alan Eisenberg predicted others would follow. Late on Sunday, the union’s exec director said, “We expect several other shows to accept the interim agreement by noon Monday.”
The mass exodus into the union’s arms never materialized, however, and “Boy” was joined by only one other taker: “The Glass Menagerie,” starring Sally Field, at the Kennedy Center. Unlike most nonprofit venues, the D.C. theater operates under the Broadway production contract and not a LORT (League of Regional Theaters) contract, which offers reduced salaries and per diems.
“We would have preferred the LORT contract, but Equity offered us the production contract and we signed it,” said Tiki Davies, representative for the Kennedy Center. She stressed that last year’s Stephen Sondheim festival productions and this season’s Tennessee Williams fest all were performed under the production contract.
Regarding the interim agreement on “Menagerie,” Davies explained, “This is not an open-end commercial venture. It is a very limited engagement.” The show runs Sunday through Aug. 8.
Monday’s joint announcement effectively deems the interim agreement, which incorporated aspects of the old contract and the newly proposed one, obsolete. But bad feelings may linger: Several League members were not happy that the “Boy” producers broke ranks.
Before Friday’s breakdown in talks, labor and management were in basic agreement on salaries and healthcare benefits with regard to Broadway shows. However, they remained divided on the new tier system for the road, which would provide up to six sliding scales for salaries and per diem. Under the old contract, which expired June 27, there was no tier system and all Equity productions on the road paid actors the same minimum salary and per diem.
It is expected, but not confirmed, that details of the new contract will be made public after the union and the League meet today.