As if all that weren't enough (and there will certainly be more to say about all these developments in the months to come in one way or another), Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the union for actors and stage managers, announced a major change in its eligibility rules. Under the new "Open Access" policy, any actor or stage manager "who can demonstrate they have worked professionally . . . within Equity's geographical jurisdiction" can join the union. If you can show you've been paid some amount for your work onstage or as a stage manager, you can now decide if you want to pay the dues and get the union card.
This may actually be the news in this column with the greatest potential impact on the economic justice front, though how it will play out of course remains to be seen. As usual, Chicago theatermakers lit up social media with discussions of the pros and cons and what effect this decision might have on non-Equity venues, whether there will be enough union work to support those who might wish to make the leap to Equity membership (prediction: probably not), and if the move was designed as a "cash grab" to gain an influx of dues from new members.