Will the Casting Directors be next up to go union?


If you follow me on the ol’ Twitter, then you probably caught my tweet last week about the recent flare-up between the Casting Directors, who are now repped by the Teamsters, and the Broadway League.

The CDs want union representation.  More specifically, from the sound of this article, they just really want some health insurance (and maybe some retirement benes as well).

(On a side note/rant – do you know how many fights in this country could be avoided if we just had a health insurance program that focused on wellness instead of turning a profit?  We should start calling it Wealth Insurance, for goodness sake.)

I’m not going to get into the debate of whether or not the CDs should get a union pin because I’ve got a lot of learning to do on the subject first.  But since their press release came on the heels of the announcement of Broadway’s record-breaking year (smartly timed, Teamsters, smartly timed), I can’t help but draw attention (or re-attention, actually) to my blog about those end of the year grosses.

See, Broadway is crushing it in terms of ticket sales.  No question.  It’d be foolish for anyone to deny the super-sized grosses that some shows are getting.

But the proof is in the recoupment, not in the overall box office totals.

And the fact is, shows are not recouping more often or faster than they ever have.

So what’s happening?

The blockbusters are getting more profitable.  Or, to put in political speak, the already-rich are getting even richer.

The rest of the market is struggling . . . and struggling like it never has before.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in a Casting Director’s office?

Because it is time to realize that a massive Mason-Dixon line is forming on Broadway, drawn between two sides:  the have multi-million dollars a week grosses . . . and the have nots.  And when deals are cut based on only looking at the top of the market . . . the middle of the market, where the gutsy stuff by newer artists may be happening . . . gets squished.

It’s too bad there isn’t a way for deals, with unions, vendors, creatives, et al. to be predicated on success.  If you hit a gusher, you pay more.  If you struggle, you pay a fair wage.  You know, like how taxes should be.

Yeah, it’s too bad that isn’t possible.

Wait.  Someone tell me why that isn’t possible again?



Keep your show organized with the Theatermaker's fool-proof management system

Improve your success rate for getting produced with daily strategy tips.

Send me the system

Related Posts


Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.