New York— Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced that it has approved a safety plan for the Broadway Production of Diana: A True Musical Story. The production plans to rehearse, record a cast album and then mount a performance of the show which will be captured for future release on Netflix.
The production of Diana: A True Musical Story was in previews when Broadway shut down on March 12.
“Much of the work that Equity staff is currently doing involves collaborating with producers on health and safety protocols,” said Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association. “Today, we can announce that we have approved a safety plan for Diana. Now comes the hard part – taking a safety plan from the page and putting it into practice. The work to provide the safest workplace possible in this environment will require everyone to work together, from the employer to every employee.”
The provisions of the safety plan include initial and recurring testing for Equity members, an isolation plan for the actors and stage managers, and HVAC changes to ensure ventilation in the back of the house, among other requirements.
Like the Berkshire Theatre Group and Barrington Stage Company, which had safety plans approved several weeks ago, the producers of Diana worked closely with the union as all parties continued to learn more about the virus and its impact on workers in the theatre. This process also included working closely with Dr. David Michaels and with the producers’ medical expert from the Cleveland Clinic.
Equity continues to review safety plans and questions on health and safety from producers on a daily basis.
Equity has been working to protect the safety of its members from COVID-19 since before the pandemic caused widespread closures nationwide, making its first public statement on March 2, quickly calling to postpone Equity auditions and asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to put worker safety first as the mayor considered whether to limit public gatherings to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Notably, Equity hired Dr. David Michaels, the former head of OSHA during the Obama administration, to serve as health and safety consultant for the union. Dr. Michaels has so far released a memo stipulating the four conditions that must be met before theatres should consider resuming production.
Equity’s other work regarding the coronavirus includes advocacy to increase and now extend unemployment insurance payments and subsidy for COBRA continuation coverage. Equity also launched the Curtain Up Fund to provide members with emergency financial relief.
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
August 12, 2020