Theater is a major business in NYC, and the weight and demands of union hiring (more than a dozen for a Broadway show) are a real drag on how many of what type of shows can be mounted. (E.g., smaller casts and orchestras than ideal in many cases.)
Along with being a brake on the development and sharing of art—boosting much playgoing out of the affordable range for many City residents—IMO it is an infringement upon first amendment freedom of speech.
Of course, any producer who tried to go to court over it would be a pariah in the business, but still I’d like to see it pressed by someone.
(More than a dozen UNIONS for a Broadway show), that is.
Stagehand$ Salary at Carnegie Hall Hits Half a Million
You may get to Carnegie Hall through practice, but you get to walk away from Carnegie Hall with a half million a year by being a stagehand at the legendary venue.
Bloomberg News blows the lid off the shocking salaries that Carnegie doles out annually, saying that while “a star pianist can receive $20,000 a night... he or she would have to perform at least 27 times to match the income of Dennis OConnell, who oversees props at the hall.”
Indeed, OConnell made $530,044 in salary and benefits last year, and the four other members of his full time team (including two carpenters and two electricians) each took home about $430,543. The site points out that the stagehands “benefit from a strong union: Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.” Stagehands at the hall do everything from move equipment to prep work on the three stages to operate audiovisual and sound fixtures, and only the Artistic and Executive Director, Clive Gillinson, makes more earning a whopping $946,581 per year.