There may be an end in sight to the strike by Local One of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) against The League of American Theatres and Producers. Talks are scheduled to resume this weekend according to a joint statement, but with no information as to location and time and no interviews or comments issued until further notice.
Meanwhile, up and down Broadway theaters are shuttered, stages are dark. Only eight shows are open: Xanadu, The Ritz, Mauritius, Cymbeline, Pygmalion, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Young Frankenstein, under a separate contract with Local One or in existence as a non-profit organization.
The contract between the two parties ended July 31. Negotiations began in June and continued off and on for months until the union went on strike Nov. 10, shutting down about 28 productions. Two days earlier, same union but different Local (The Writers Guild of America), a film and television writers’ strike began in Hollywood, the first in almost 20 years. Many popular shows have been shutdown. Movie theaters have been stockpiling scripts for years in the event of a strike and will be less affected by the strike initially.
The strike on Broadway by Local One is the second in the past five years, but only the second since 1975 by the union. Off Broadway and off-off Broadway shows have not been affected and indeed may do a better business in the short run. In the meantime, Thanksgiving week approaches and theatergoers, management, stage crews, and the economy of the Big Apple may have reason to thank the Union and the League after negotiations conclude this weekend.