Friday, March 27, 2009

The Herald on the 26th Theatre incident

The Miami Herald picks up the story first reported here on the South Florida Theatre Scene:

''We're a business that is stopping a production for a variety of reasons, most of them economic,'' said Gary Waldman, producing artistic director of the Wilton. ``Right now anybody that has tickets for the show is getting a phone call and getting refunded.''

However, tickets for all scheduled performances of The Life were still being sold online Thursday by ShowClix, a Pennsylvania-based company.

When I called the theater on Thursday afternoon, the recorded message was still pushing tickets as well. It also referred to the actors as "superstars from New York City."

''We're stuck,'' said Heather Gault, 23, a New York City actress who said she auditioned for her role after answering a casting call posted on


She said the actors were sent home from rehearsals early on Tuesday -- the day before preview performances were scheduled to open -- and told by Waldman that he had no money to pay them. She said Waldman and Troutman still owe her and the other actors one week's pay and airfare.

Jonathan Juarbe, 23, said he felt cheated by the producers.

''They screwed us over, big time,'' he said.

Typically, Gary Waldman is busy blaming the wrong people for his problems:
Waldman said he intends to pay the actors' wages and airfare to return home, but he blamed them for delaying his efforts with phone calls and e-mails.
Hm. Interesting accusation, considering that it was his job, as producer, to have their wages and return airfare covered before he hired anyone.

Waldman, as previously reported on the Theatre Scene, is on the "strike list" of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSD&C), which is the union for directors and choreographers. According to the SSD&C website:

Members may not accept
employment from any theatre or
producer on the SSDC Strike List.

This issue could not have happened at a theater abiding by an Actors' Equity Association contract. AEA is the union for stage actors, and one of their requirements is that the producer of a show must put up a bond to cover actors' wages in the event of a sudden closing. And that requirement exists because of producers like Gary Waldman and Jamison Troutman.


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