The Show Must Go On
November 29, 2001

After 19 consecutive days of the lights being out on Broadway, the shows are finally set to resume. The League of American Theatres and Producers and the Local One stagehand union of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees came to an agreement, late on Wednesday, which will allow performances to begin again this evening.
    The strike ensued after the LATP wanted to change several rules, including those regarding how many stagehands are required to work while a show is being loaded into a theater; minimum lengths of time for which stagehands can be called to duty; and the nature of tasks stagehands are allowed to perform during certain work calls.
    James Claffey, the president of the 2,200-member union for stagehands, maintained from the start that the organization would be open to changes in return for benefits of equal value. But the LATP was set on cutting labor costs.
    The strike closed about 27 Broadway theaters on November 10 and left many ticket holders disappointed when they arrived to find doors locked and picket lines formed outside. It’s also disheartening to think of those who traveled far distances to experience one of New York City’s biggest thrills, not to mention the toll it had on the city’s economy, which was said to be millions of dollars.
    As much as New Yorkers complain about the congestion of tourists stopping to stare and take pictures in Times Square, it’s good to know the theater district is back to normal. And for dance teachers, its important to talk to your students about current events in the arts, to help raise their awareness of some of the trials and tribulations that are a part of making it as a dancer, singer, actor or performer.

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