The New York Actors' Equity membership votes Friday afternoon on a new contract already recommended by its Council. By Aug. 5 members in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles will have added their ayes or nays.
This three-year contract has had a quieter netotiating period than many in recent years and the Council's recommendation suggests amicable settlement. It covers professional actors on Broadway and in touring companies, including bus and truck tours. Regional theaters, such as Arena, are not involved.
Touring attractions appear to be the most affected. Performers playing away from "point of organization" would now receive a minimum of $192.50 per week in expenses, as well as $355 in salary. By the third year, minimum salary would be $400 and out-of-town expenses would rise to $245. Like politicians, actors on tour have two homes to support, but this is the first time such solid attention to the problem has been given in contracts.
Among the some 30 improvements worked out by Equity secretary Donald Grody is "major revision of the alien rules, with acknowledgement by the League of New York Theaters (the producing members) that a balance be maintained between the number of British actors who play in this country and the American actors who perform in Britain."
Also affecting road cities, of which Washington is one, the maximum period for out-to-town tryouts has been reduced from 15 weeks to 12, thus affecting rehearsal hours.
The latter regulation could affect touring in this country, upping the need for big musicals to draw about $125.000 per week to break even. As regional productions develop which are not necessarily "tryouts" for New York, this clause could become controversial, with New York becoming just one limited engagement stand among many.
The comparatively quiet negotiation period, which ended during the New York power blackout, suggests that this time a threat of theater blackouts, common in recent years, will be avoided.
"Inner City," by Eve Merriam and Helen Miller, with Mike Malone directing, takes over the Paul Robeson International Center for the Performing Arts and Humanistic Study, 1632 O St. NW. This was the original home of the vanished Washington Theater Club. Performances will be Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. Anthony Booker is musical director for the revue about black life in "the nub of the nation," Reservations at 483.7773.
With her solo "Appearing Nitely" sold out for her two National weeks, Lily Tomlin has scheduled an extra performance aiding Women's Lobby, Inc., on Wednesday Aug. 3, at 11 p.m. Tickets will go on sale at the box office Friday. Now that should be a lively midnight!
Roger Meersman's staging of "Romeo and Juliet," which returns the Shakespeare Summer Festival to the Monument Grounds' Sylvan Theater after a summer's absence, is the best this series has had in years. Some of the credit goes to the revolving set, created by C.H. Vaughn III, allowing four playing areas on two levels and stairs, an ingenious device most helpful to the play's flow. Besides Lanny THomas and Helena Light in the title parts, there are standout performances by Leah Kremer as the Nurse and John Elko as Friar Laurence. Performances are nghtly. Mondays excepted at 8:30 p.m.
Pat Karpen and Rudolph Willrich, of Olney's current "Absurd Person Singular," will be in that theater's next show, "The Tenth Man," with J. Robert Dietz, Albert M. Ottenheimer and Morris Engle also in director Leo Brady's cast . . . The Georgetown Workshop Theater's Comedy Touring Group will have Coward's "Red Peppers" and Mike Nichols' "Next" available for tours in the area starting Sept. 15. The idea here is for performances to be inserted during club dinners, meetings, etc.; further details at 333.7305 . . . The Hyde School's "America's Spirit," though performed in the Musical Theater Lab, was reviewd at the request of the Maine visitors, though normally the lab performances are not reviewed . . . "Brigadoon" will be played at 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday Aug. 4.14 by Arlington Theater Associates in Lubber Run Park amphitheater.
As alter ego to the late Sol Hurok Kennedy Center executive director Martin Feinstein has had associations with all the major ballet companies. With the Pennsylvania Ballet's Benjamin Harkarvy, Feinstein spreads his knowledge Wednesday noon at the Friends of the Kennedy Center's weekly symposium in the AFI Theater.