In Support of the Stagehand’s Strike

Playgoer has been giving some good coverage/linkage on the strike.From the front lines, however, there is The Humble Nailbanger, whose entry “The subtle demonization of working people” is a must read on the issues and includes this incredibly “nail on the head” account:

During some of the recent talks, a head stagehand at one of the theatres asked an owner/executive/whatever a question.“So. Let me ask you a question. What do you do on a Sunday morning? Do you sleep in a little bit?”“Yeah, I might get an hour or so extra.”“Sleep in, have a little breakfast with the kids?”“Sure, eat with my children, hang out with them, you know. Spend time.”“And then what? Mow the lawn, have a couple drinks?”“Maybe. Get in a few rounds of golf. You know, relax.”“You spend your Sunday just hanging out, relaxing, playing a little bit? Seeing your family?”“Yeah, why?”“Well, you know what I do with my Sundays? I get up at 5am, kiss my sleeping kids goodbye, and I come in here and run your fucking theatre. And you want to pay me less now?”

Also, One NYC Stagehand has a powerful entry about commerce and art called “Tiger’s heart wrapped in a Player’s hide” that you should check out. Excerpt: 

The labor dispute on Broadway reveals again just how far we as a society have gone from in putting the needs of the moneyed ahead of all else. The wealthy piously speak of a need to get a good return on their investment at the expense of the society around them and demand that this outlook should form our own. We are told that our core as humans is about commerce rather than community.. . .I would be a lot more willing to make the sacrifices that I’m being told to make if the stories that were being told had meaning beyond a return on an investment. If audiences came out of the theatre with a different outlook on life instead of with a smile and some merchandise, then I could feel that I’m involved with something resembling art.

For further coverage of the story, you can check out Campbell Robertson’s story “Broadway’s Showdown: The Lowdown”, which does an ok job at exposing at least some of the actual issues involved (despite the cheesy headline).J and I were talking the other night about doing something -walking with the strikers, possibly baking cookies, just something – to show our support for the men and women who are the engine that runs Broadway and who are standing against the unadulterated greed of the producers and their corporate puppet-masters. I’m not sure what we’ll end up doing, but for know, I can at least declare to anyone who stumbles across this blog, I am in total support of Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

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