• Amber

#ActorsEquity speaks out against #Rocktopia over pay for chorus members

According to #BroadwayNews The Actors’ Equity Association is taking aim at “Rocktopia” after it has not provided an Equity contract for its chorus members.

Rocktopia,” a concert that features mashups of classical and rock music, is scheduled to play six weeks at the Broadway Theatre beginning March 20. The producers of “Rocktopia” are not contractually required to use an Equity contract, however, Equity has been pushing for its involvement in contracts whenever its members are involved. In turn, the producers of “Rocktopia” have said that Equity does not have “jurisdiction” over their production and said they had suggested their own financial arrangement which they felt was “fair and reasonable.”

In emails sent to Equity members Tuesday, the union urged members to leave one-star reviews on “Rocktopia’s” Facebook page and speak about the lack of an Equity contract, given the show’s presence on Broadway.

“Producers are advertising this as a Broadway show and charging Broadway ticket prices – but their Broadway Chorus isn’t being offered an Equity contract. In fact, we’ve heard from members who have reported being offered as low as $215 for a week of Chorus work,” the email reads.

The union later said reviews were disabled on the Facebook page and instead urged their members to turn to Twitter.

“The hundreds of Equity members who spoke out today made it very clear that there is nothing reasonable about offering $215 a week while also not covering all of the performers with Equity contracts,” Brandon Lorenz, a spokesperson for Equity, said in a statement.  

On Wednesday, “Rocktopia” posted on their Facebook page to say that the show is a touring production that uses the same lead vocalists and rock band, but then calls upon local singers to make up its 35-person choir in each city as well as a local orchestra. They also called the back-and-forth with Equity “incredibly distressing.” Tickets for “Rocktopia” range between $49 to $157, according to Telecharge.