Do estates and literary executors interfere with the evolution of a work?In a theatrical age where the director is king and the quickest way to make your mark and your reputation is to let your ego run rampant on an established text, it is perhaps not surprising that estates and literary executors feel bound to protect the reputations of those who can no longer protect themselves. Unfortunately, these guardians often behave like ferocious guard dogs and are in danger of deterring directors and theatre companies from tackling classic works in new ways and keeping those texts alive. You wonder whether Shakespeare would still be our contemporary if a security guard stood over his plays, preventing directors from putting A Midsummer Night's Dream in a white box with trapezes or setting Richard III in a totalitarian state(from The Guardian). I say no. The work belonged to the creator, and how it is done should be controlled by whomever the creator bequeathed the right to the work to; it is theirs, until the copyright runs out and the work reverts to the public domain.
Screen Actors Guild to Adopt New Entry Requirement for Background Performers. New Points System Anticipated to be in Place in 2004 [sounds to me a little like Equity's 'Equity Membership Candidate' program].
Performance Space (Friday, December 26th):Donny's Skybox [at Second City] has 8 and 10pm slots available on Friday, December 26th. We are seeking existing ensembles (given the short time constraint) that are in town the weekend after Christmas. Tickets for the show/s would be $10 (with the usual student discounts available), and the door will be split 50/50 between the Training Center and the ensemble. This is an opportunity for quick, hassle-free cash for an ensemble if some audience can be pulled, especially if any of you have or know groups whose runs were cut short by the various theater closings.RSVP immediately with any questions or interest to Aaron Sjoholm at (312) 475 - 3556 / email@example.com. Slots will be filled on a first-come/first-served basis. The sooner you respond, the sooner we can all try to get people in the theater that night. Technical considerations will depend on the ensemble.This is all I know about this, caveat actor (or rather producer).
Some specifics about the six theatres shut down by the city in late November just before the busiest theatre season:Closed in the sweep were TimeLine Theatre, Playground Improv Theatre, the Artistic Home, Profiles Theatre, Theatre Sports and WNEP Theatre. The first five were issued cease and desist orders for not having PPA licenses, while WNEP was closed for displaying what authorities claim was a counterfeit license. None of the six small venues was closed for reasons of safety.(from ReelChicago).
Equity is still struggling to cover tours. And they just cut out health care for a whole big bunch of actors.
I don't really know what I'm talking about, just an idea: Perhaps union members are a union's strength? Instead of trying to make sure each production is under an Equity contract, maybe Equity could focus on making each actor an Equity actor. Then the producers would have to employ Equity actors or no actors at all.Nationally, the actors' union calls the proliferation of non-Equity shows a crisis for their organization. Equity executive director Alan Eisenberg has said that 40 percent of all theatrical tours hit the road without unionized actors. Equity performers are working half the number of weeks on the road that they did five years ago, an important statistic because actors must work a certain number of weeks per year to qualify for union pension and health benefits(from TwinCities.com).