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Is That a Union Nutcracker?

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Image: Mike HallHere in the holiday season and stretching into the New Year, a lot of folks decide it’s a good time for a night at the theater or to take in a concert. A lot of us want to look for the union label, too. Here are some links that might help.

Most of your big city ballet companies—which are likely finishing up their run of “The Nutcracker”—and operas employ dancers, singers and production workers who are members of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA)Click here for a list of those companies.

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) represents musicians in most major metropolitan symphony orchestras and many regional orchestras in the United States and Canada.Click here for a list of the big-city U.S. orchestras, here for the regional orchestras and here for the Canadian orchestras.

While the cast, crews and pit orchestras for most Broadway and off-Broadway shows are made up of Actors’ Equity (AEA), Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and AFM members, that’s not always the case when one of these shows rolls into your town.

Click here to find out the current touring shows that feature an AEA cast and here for a list of shows employing IATSE members. AFM does not have a similar site, but does list current tours without AFM agreements here.

This article was originally printed on AFL-CIO on December 20, 2013.  Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Mike Hall is a former West Virginia newspaper reporter, staff writer for the United Mine Workers Journaland managing editor of the Seafarers Log.  He came to the AFL- CIO in 1989 and has written for several federation publications, focusing on legislation and politics, especially grassroots mobilization and workplace safety.


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