As Actors' Equity Assn. members who have both acted in and produced Equity Waiver theater, and as members of a young and growing theater company, we support Equity's proposed 99-seat theater plan.
From our own experience, we realize there is no money to be made in a theater of 99 seats.
Nonetheless, the Waiver institutionalizes actor subsidies to the theater, leaves actors open to exploitation from unscrupulous or inexperienced producers and denies L.A. theater its proper status as an equally professional and important relative of the television and film industry.
Equity contracts have not prevented such smaller theaters as Seattle's Empty Space and Group Theater, or San Francisco's Magic Theater and Eureka Theater, from producing bold, experimental works.
The 99-seat theater plan is an important--albeit small--first step in the right direction.
Pacific Theater Ensemble