Greg Redlawsk is a director and playwright based out of New York. He is a co-founder of That Toy Pony, a young company devoted primarily to new and innovative site-specific performance throughout the city. A graduate of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, he has also served as a Stage Manager, Technician, and Production Assistant throughout the city. Additionally, he worked administratively with New York Theater Workshop and the Public Theater on Shinsai: Theaters for Japan in 2012 and is now the Production Coordinator for "terntable," NYTW’s intern alumni organization.
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Are Equity tours of a higher quality than non-union productions? Very possibly. There’s a larger talent pool to work with and performers tend to be more experienced. That said, whether or not a tour is a union production has never been shown to have a demonstrable effect on ticket sales that I’ve been able to uncover.
“Paying your dues”—it’s a pervasive refrain, and one that clearly lives deeply within us; it has gotten under our skin and through our veins. I can’t help but think that it’s a lie. The concept of “paying dues” implies a sort of social contract that’s simply no longer present, if it ever was.
A sampling of some of the major non-profits suggests that there are at least, on average, 8 to 10 unpaid interns working at any given time in the average mid to large sized non-profit theater. There are over 300 non-profit theaters of varying sizes in New York alone. Even with conservative estimates, there are at least a thousand interns, (probably more) working tens of thousands of unpaid hours for the non-profit sector. There are hundreds of PAs. We’ve created a system that’s built on the backs of unpaid young people who just want to be a part of things.