Chicago Tribune: ‘Drunk Shakespeare’ Show Plans to Unionize in Chicago

The comedy operation “Drunk Shakespeare,” wherein an actor drinks copious qualities of pre-show alcohol for comedic purposes, is facing a unionization demand from workers at its franchise on Wabash Avenue in Chicago’s Loop.

But it’s not about the booze.

According to server Ella Fent, the cast and crew have alleged ‘‘inaccurate paychecks” and other forms of mismanagement, often forcing them to keep track of their own hours and correct accounting errors, and to deal with understaffing and “chaotic scheduling.” Fent also said that the waitstaff, many of whom are also actors, help set up many of the comic bits in the show and handle props, both tasks that the union Actors Equity generally would deem roles that belong to a stage management team. Fent did say that the company generally “takes good care of the drunk actor, sending them home in an Uber.”