Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1919, Actors Equity was recognized by producers after stagehands honored their picket lines, shutting down almost every professional stage production in the country.
Before unionizing, it was common practice for actors to pay for their own costumes, rehearse long hours without pay, and be fired without notice.
The president of the Stage Hands Union once told reporters that, when entering a theatre, he often did not know which sub-cellar was for the actors and which was for the coal.
In 1988, television writers, members of The Writers Guild of America, ended a 22-week strike with a compromise settlement.
Today’s labor quote is by producer Jed Harris, who described the pre-Actors Equity time this way: “It was dog eat dog and vice versa.”
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