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Equity Waiver

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ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 1988
It is not surprising that the producers of Equity Waiver theaters think so little of the actors who volunteer their time. What I find disturbing is that nearly half of Equity's members have such low self-esteem. If we allow these "work-for-no-pay" producers to bust our union, we will open wide the door to the legitimate producers, who will soon have us working for minimum wage. THOM McCLEISTER Venice Please keep letters brief and include full name, address and phone number.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Estelle Busch, 91, executive director of the Synthaxis Theatre Company in North Hollywood and a founder of the Equity-waiver theater movement, has died. Busch died of natural causes March 15, said her son, Mark. Busch was born Aug. 30, 1914, in New York to Russian immigrants. She first appeared on stage at age 8 in a Yiddish production. She apprenticed with New York City's Group Theater and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 1985 | DIANA MAR, Mar, a UCLA graduate, was a Times summer intern.
Actor Gregory Harrison recalls the early years of his career when he did nothing but study acting and do Equity Waiver shows. "I would study all day, do plays in the evenings and wash windows from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. But I could say that I was an actor and mean it because I was working in Waiver. There's not an actor I know who has had to grow up in Hollywood, who hasn't benefitted from it." But good things can turn sour. There have been increasing charges of abuses on the Waiver front.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2004
Having worked at Disney for 14 years, while volunteering as press representative at the old 99-seat Colony Studio Theatre on Riverside Drive, I am in a unique position to know the two entities quite well. Two things struck me about Mary McNamara's article ["From Big Time to Play Time, Oct. 17] about Peter Schneider directing "Grand Hotel" at the Colony Theatre. She unfortunately presents Disney's Tom Schumacher in an unflattering, uninformed light, when he says about his friend Schneider, "Going from the head of a major studio to directing an equity-waver play?
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 1986 | SYLVIE DRAKE, Times Theater Writer
The deepening concern in this town with the fate of the Equity Waiver may be turning into a major crisis for local theater. Rumors about the abolition of the Waiver (whereby the actors' union chooses to "waive" its rules in theaters of 99 seats or less) have been rife for months. The climax came Saturday at an "informational" meeting called by Camelot Artists (a group of Waiver producers) at the Las Palmas Theatre.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 1988
We are totally opposed to Actors' Equity's new "Actors' 99-Seat Theater Plan" that would reinstate union regulation in our smaller theaters ("Pro-Waiver Forces Hit Equity Plan," by Janice Arkatov, March 28). We feel that it is important to have the choice to do Equity Waiver theater. If the new plan is implemented, it will surely kill this very special kind of theater that we, as devoted actors, cherish. LOU & CARLA FERRIGNO Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 1988
Sullivan's neglected to mention one of the most successful productions to emerge from the Equity Waiver scene--"Confessions of a Nightingale." And, arguably, it is the most successful in terms of an actor "getting a piece of the action." Ray Stricklyn's one-man odyssey as Tennessee Williams has been playing (almost) continuously since it premiered (Jan. 1985) at the Beverly Hills Playhouse--from its New York run to a national tour to its recent Edinburgh Festival booking.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 1985
Dan Sullivan's review of Barbra Streisand's new album of Broadway tunes ("Streisand Does It Her Way," November 3) was a waste of time for all concerned. Whatever else he may be, when Sullivan tries to be a music critic--disaster. Streisand took a gamble with this album. Let's hope it pays off and is the first of many such projects. Let's hope Stephen Sondheim's exposure gains him more mainstream acceptance. Let's hope that Sullivan, with his patronizing allowance that the album has "some nice things on it," has reached the end of a short road as a music critic, and goes back to reviewing Equity Waiver and dinner theater productions.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2000
As the producer of "The Versus of Ogden Nash" at the Studio Coronet Theatre, I am particularly concerned by Don Shirley's implication that 99-seat theater is something less compared to larger theaters (Theater Notes, Dec. 17). Los Angeles has a rich theatergoing and theater-producing environment that is not served by our leading newspaper and by Lars Hansen, the former president of the organization designed to support L.A.- based theater, looking down on performers and producers of Equity-waiver theater who contribute significantly to the cultural landscape of our great city.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 17, 1988
Because he is an Equity Waiver producer opposed to the Actors' Equity 99-seat plan and lifts his voice loudest in predicting the "end of theater in L.A." if the plan stands and he has to pay his actors, I eagerly turned to Barbara Isenberg's report on Ted Schmitt ("Theater on a Shoestring," July 10). Well, m'dear, the man is a hero, doncha' know. The single-handed savior of Los Angeles theater. A candidate for sainthood. I had tears in my eyes. Then I took a second look at the financial statement that accompanied the article: "Fees: actors/stage managers" and "Fees: actor share" amounted to 1.05% of total expenses for 1987.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2000
As the producer of "The Versus of Ogden Nash" at the Studio Coronet Theatre, I am particularly concerned by Don Shirley's implication that 99-seat theater is something less compared to larger theaters (Theater Notes, Dec. 17). Los Angeles has a rich theatergoing and theater-producing environment that is not served by our leading newspaper and by Lars Hansen, the former president of the organization designed to support L.A.- based theater, looking down on performers and producers of Equity-waiver theater who contribute significantly to the cultural landscape of our great city.
NEWS
April 15, 1991
Dexter Freeman, actor, writer and director who fought to improve working conditions in Los Angeles Equity waiver theaters (those with 99 or fewer seats). Freeman was president of the Professional Actors League (PAL), which spearheaded improvements in the small houses two decades ago. He co-founded MET Theatre, where he produced new plays and founded the Staircase Company and Workshop to train young actors.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 6, 1990 | TORENE SVITIL, Svitil is a Los Angeles-based free-lance writer.
Emily Lloyd is a "scorcher," blazing with righteous anger. Clad only in a white slip, she shakes her finger in imitation of actor Leland Crooke, playing her father, before turning around to shake her bottom at him. "That's great," shouts "Scorchers" director David Beaird as she sashays across the boardinghouse bedroom set. "The script only calls for one wiggle and you put in about five. I love it."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 1989 | DAN SULLIVAN
It's too bad that Joe Stern refuses to read Simon Gray's book about his experiences trying out "The Common Pursuit" at the Matrix Theater (see Barbara Isenberg's adjoining article). If he ever softens, he'll discover that Gray found him a lovable man and a patient producer. Patient???? I only hear from Stern when he's upset about something--a dumb review, some crazy new stunt from Actors' Equity. He's not too patient then. But under the surface noise you hear a serious concern for the theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 1989 | DON SHIRLEY
Can the Long Beach Repertory Theatre succeed where its predecessors failed? The new professional troupe, announced earlier this week, won't be the first professional theater company to appear in the 864-seat Center Theatre at the Long Beach Convention Center. Shortly after the building went up, producers Herb Rogers and Norman Twain each presented a season of six star-studded shows. Rogers' opening production was Shelley Winters in "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" in February, 1978; Twain's final production, in August, 1979, was Stockard Channing in "As You Like It," directed by Tony Richardson.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 1988
Sullivan's neglected to mention one of the most successful productions to emerge from the Equity Waiver scene--"Confessions of a Nightingale." And, arguably, it is the most successful in terms of an actor "getting a piece of the action." Ray Stricklyn's one-man odyssey as Tennessee Williams has been playing (almost) continuously since it premiered (Jan. 1985) at the Beverly Hills Playhouse--from its New York run to a national tour to its recent Edinburgh Festival booking.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 1988 | DAN SULLIVAN
We predicted last week that the decision to start paying actors in the 99-seat-and-under theaters will result in fewer shows. Ah, but will they be better shows? The worst-case argument says that they won't be. Large-cast shows like the Odyssey's "The Chicago Conspiracy Trial" or its current "McCarthy" will be out. Design budgets will be cut.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 1988 | Don Shirley
Aug. 13, 1972: West Coast Actors' Equity waives its rules but not its jurisdiction in theaters of fewer than 100 seats. Nov. 19, 1980: In a report financed by the Department of Labor, consultant Carl Sautter concludes that the Waiver is working well and that a surprising number of actors are being compensated. 1982: San Francisco Equity members vote to eliminate the Waiver in that city in favor of expanded Letters of Agreement between Equity and San Francisco theaters.
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