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99-Seat Review Committee releases statement in advance of Tuesday’s vote by Actors’ Equity Association national council on controversial new proposal that would eliminate availability of current 99-Seat Theater Plan in Los Angeles


LOS ANGELES (April 20, 2015) — In the wake of a recent advisory vote by Los Angeles members of Actors’ Equity Association that will be taken under consideration when the AEA national council meets on Tuesday, April 21 to determine the fate of Los Angeles’ current 99-Seat Theater Plan, the 99-Seat Theater Review Committee has released a statement.

AEA has put forth a three-pronged proposal that would effectively eliminate availability of the current Plan, which permits its members to perform in theaters with fewer than 100 seats for a stipend, in favor of minimum wage requirements for both rehearsals and performances. 99-Seat proponents argue that the new proposal will destroy L.A.’s intimate theater scene, and have asked the union to sit down at the table with its members to work out a better plan. With a turnout of 44.6%, members voted 2,046 to 1,075 against implementing the new AEA proposal in the advisory referendum, which is not binding.

What follows is a statement from the Review Committee, which was created to monitor and study the impact, implementation, problems and operations of the 99-Seat Plan and is made up of plaintiffs, or their designates, from a 1987 lawsuit against Equity by its members.

“We are encouraged by the results of Friday’s advisory referendum. We look forward to working together with Equity to strategize, study and craft a workable 99-Seat Plan that will take into account not only where we are presently, but also where we would like to be five and ten years from now. If these past months have shown us anything, it is that Los Angeles is a vital and fervent community of artists who are united in their resolve that 99-seat theater continue to thrive.

We have sent an email to executive director, Mary McColl, assistant executive director/Western regional director Gale E. Gabler and president Nick Wyman requesting that the national council, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, postpone any decision regarding 99-seat theater until an in-depth study and thorough conversations with actors, community leaders and theater producers can be successfully completed.

Change is needed, and we look forward to working closely with AEA’s senior staff, the Western regional board and New York’s national council to create that blueprint.”

The members of the current Review Committee are Sean Branney, Martha Demson, John Flynn, Gary Grossman, Simon Levy, Tom Ormeny and Joe Stern.

The Actors Have Spoken: We’re Keeping 99 Seat Theatre in Los Angeles

The vote came in just around noon today and there has been a hotbed of social media dialog since.  This is only the beginning of the battle for what is now recognized as the “majority” of actors in Los Angeles who are determined to decide how they shape their artistic life, value and pay.  But for now the actors have spoken directly to their union, Actor’s Equity Association,  “99 Seat Theatre Stays!”

#Pro99 Wins @ActorsEquity Referendum 65.5% NO, 34.4% YES #LAThtr #DIVERSITY99 #LosAngeles #99Seats #99Seat #Noho #DTLA #ILove99 #Changefor99


Millennials Are a Highly Engaged Audience Willing to Spend on Arts Events

Art is definitely not dead and today Eventbrite released new insights that showcase Millennials’ unique perspective on Performing and Visual Arts events.


Eventbrite, the global ticketing and events marketplace, today released new research that examines how millennials define, discover, spend on and engage with performing and visual arts events. Eventbrite, which experienced a 54% year-over-year increase in performing and visual arts events, surveyed more than a thousand Americans who attended an event in this category in the past 12 months. The study, “The Art of Attraction: How to Grow Your Millennial Arts Audience,” uncovers key insights including:

Millennials Attend and Spend
The millennial generation currently commands an estimated $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending and they are allocating a healthy amount of their disposable income to performing and visual arts events; one in five millennials spend $500 or more in the past year on or at performing arts or visual arts events. They also splurge on souvenirs at these events; one in three millennials said they were likely to buy merchandise, such as posters or apparel, while attending an arts event.

Numerous millennials are apt to prioritize spending on arts events over other discretionary spending. When presented with the question, if you won $1,000 and had to spend it all in the next 12 months, more millennials said they would allocate the money to arts events (50%) than coffee (35%) or alcohol (29%).

Defining and Fueling a New Performing and Visual Arts Experience

Millennials are expanding the definition of ‘arts’ and ‘arts’ events: nearly one in three (31%) feel that iPhone photography is considered a visual art, more than half (54%) consider graffiti or street art a visual art, and 43% consider comic books or graphic novels a visual art. While some speculate that millennials are less engaged with the arts, Eventbrite’s survey found millennials are often more engaged than boomers and crave a closer, more interactive look at the performing and visual arts world. Forty-three percent of millennials said they would prefer to attend events that incorporate audience participation, while only 29% of boomers feel the same way.

Some millennials take this engagement even further and set out to acquire new skills following arts events. Millennials are more than five times as likely as their boomer counterparts (21% vs. 4%) to take a class related to the arts after attending an event, such as enrolling in dance lessons after visiting the ballet.

Focus on Digital Discovery and Crowdsourced Recommendation
Millennials are more likely than boomers to hear about arts events through online resources like social media (48% vs. 24%), online ads (28% vs. 19%), and blogs (25% vs. 4%). In contrast, boomers are more likely than millennials to learn about arts events through traditional channels, including TV (66% vs. 42%), print (63% vs. 33%) and radio (49% vs. 33%) ads.

When it comes to taking action from reviews, everyone’s a critic in millennials’ eyes: they are almost equally as likely to attend an arts event because it was recommended on a site such as Yelp (47%) as they would if it was recommended by a critic or reviewer (53%). Boomers are more influenced by critics, with 73% likely to attend arts events if they recommend it and only 27% likely to attend based on a recommendation from a review site.

A Millennial Rendition of Arts Events
In 2014, Eventbrite saw a more than 60% growth in performing and visual arts events where alcohol is served, a trend in line with survey findings that more than half (58%) of millennials prefer arts events with drinks on the menu. Additionally, two in three millennials (66%) prefer arts events with food, and 31% said they would attend more arts events if they could eat or drink during a performing or visual arts event.

Millennials embrace the tradition and formality around arts events; survey results found that they enjoy dressing up and attending fancier gatherings. Thirty-five percent of millennials would rather attend an arts event that is formal instead of casual (vs. 14% of boomers). Nearly half of millennials (49%) even think performing and visual arts events are not dressy enough. Even though formality can be a draw for millennials at arts events, they don’t want to be forced into a tux. Sixty-three percent would prefer events without the rules of a dress code, proving a little freedom can go a long way with this generation.

“Amid recent studies indicating a decline in arts event attendance rates for U.S. adults, it was encouraging to see that our study found 70% of millennials who recently attended an arts event expressed interest in attending more,” said Martina Wang, marketing lead at Eventbrite. “The challenge for performing and visual arts organizations is to effectively reach this highly-connected, influential generation, while staying true to deep-rooted traditions. Our findings offer them valuable insights into the future of this industry.”

For more details and to view the full study, please visit the Event Academy, Eventbrite’s resource for event organizers with webinars, whitepapers, and industry insights for events of any kind. To learn more about Eventbrite ticketing and registration for performing and visual arts events, check out eventbrite.com/arts.

About Eventbrite
Eventbrite is the global marketplace for live experiences that allows people to find and create events. Since 2006, the self-service platform has helped event organizers of all kinds to sell more tickets through robust technology and promotional tools, totaling $3.5 billion in gross ticket sales. In addition to providing technology for organizers, Eventbrite has become the destination for consumers looking to discover a variety of live experiences from small photography and yoga classes to large concerts and festivals with tens of thousands of attendees. More than 200 million tickets have been processed on the platform, and in 2014 alone, Eventbrite processed $1.5 billion in gross ticket sales for attendees in more than 180 countries. Eventbrite investors include Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price. Learn more at www.eventbrite.com.



It was an awards show born in a moment of relevance. An  electrified contingent of professional Los Angeles Intimate theater companies and their friends sold out Los Angeles theatre Center to support the first-ever STAGE RAW THEATRE AWARDS.  Picking up where the LA WEEKLY Awards, left off, and hosted by the Celebration Theatre and the hilarious duo of Alec Mapa and Parvesh Cheena, it was a night to celebrate the best of 99-seat theatre and a rallying cry against the Equity proposal and referendum that is currently being voted on.  Impassioned speeches were given by Steven Leigh Morris and Bill Raden to open the show, followed by an introduction of the original plaintiffs in the Equity wars of 30 years ago who all received a standing ovation.  One of those plaintiffs, Gary Grossman, gave a rousing speech as he presented the “Queen of the Angels” award to Rebecca Metz, who brought down the house with her heartfelt message of community and standing up for what is right in the face of adversity.  The emotion in the room was palpable from start to finish and it was a fitting start to a tradition that it sure to last for decades to come!

The award recipients for the 2014 STAGE RAW Awards are as follows:


Fight Choreography

Ahmed Best, Backyard, Echo Theater Company


Video/Projection Design

Hana S. Kim, The Ugly One, Ensemble Studio Theatre/L.A.


Queen of the Angels

Rebecca Metz



Aaron Posner, Stupid Fucking Bird, Circle X Theatre Company and Theatre @ Boston Court



Benjamin Brand, Taste, Sacred Fools Theater Company


Sound Design

Christopher Moscatiello, Penelope, Rogue Machine


Career Achievement

Jon Lawrence Rivera


Lighting Design

Pablo Santiago, The Brothers Size, The Fountain Theatre


Costume Design

Jenny Foldenauer, Everything You Touch, Theatre @ Boston Court and Rattlestick 

Playwrights Theater


Set Design

DeAnne Millais, Taste, Sacred Fools Theatre Company


Production Design

Everything You Touch, Theatre @ Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater


Two Person Performance

Donal Thoms-Cappello and Chris L. McKenna, Taste, Sacred Fools Theater Company


Supporting Female Performance

Kelli Anderson, One in the Chamber, 6140 Productions/Theatre Planners


Supporting Male Performance

Joel Polis, My Name Is Asher Lev, The Fountain Theatre


Male Comedy Performance

Hugo Armstrong, The Behavior of Broadus, Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools

Theater Company


Female Comedy Performance

Ann Noble, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia, LGBT’s Davidson/Valenti Theatre


Solo Performance

Ben Moroski, The Wake, Theatre Asylum


Comedy Ensemble

The Ugly One, Ensemble Studio Theatre/L.A.



The Wedding Band, The Anteaus Company


Original Music

Matt Almos, Brendan Milburn and Burglars of Hamm, The Behavior of Broadus,

      Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater Company



Ken Roht, The Behavior of Broadus, Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater



Leading Female Performance

Cara Pifko, O Réjane, Bootleg Theatre


Leading Male Performance

David Selby, A Delicate Balance, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble


Musical Direction

John Ballinger, The Behavior of Broadus, Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater Company


Comedy Direction Award

Stuart Gordon, Taste, Sacred Fools Theater Company


Direction Award

Jessica Kubzansky, Everything You Touch, Theater @ Boston Court and Rattlestick

 Playwrights Theater


Musical of the Year Award

The Behavior of Broadus, Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater Company


Revival Production Of The Year Award (of a 20th- or 21st-century work)

Wedding Band, The Antaeus Company


Production Of The Year Award

Everything You Touch, Theatre @ Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater



New Television Casting: NBC’s First Dates by Executive Producer Ellen DeGeneres




Ellen DeGeneres-Executive Produced Series Will Explore All of the Simple Wonder of a First Date.  Online casting has begun in and around Chicago, Nashville, New York and Seattle at www.FirstDatesCasting.com

NBC has ordered 8 episodes of “First Dates,” an observational documentary series from executive producer Ellen DeGeneres and Shed Media that takes a peek at what happens when a couple meets for the first time and love may be in the air.

Whenever a prospective couple goes on a first date, the same question always arises: Will the date blossom into a long-term love affair? It’s the moment when sparks often fly and our imaginations run wild — when two people realize they may have found their soul mate.

Based on a hit U.K. format, this unique hour-long series offers an authentic look at a variety of real first dates happening over one night at the same restaurant. The audience will be along for the full ride in a relatable viewing experience that plays like a real romantic comedy. Viewers will judge for themselves about how the couple is interacting and whether they are a good fit for one another. Is there a palpable sense of chemistry? Will there be an ever-elusive second date, or will it be back to love’s drawing board?

Production will begin in July in Chicago. No premiere date is set.

Apply now: www.Firstdatescasting.com

This is an online casting call.
Online Application at: www.Firstdatescasting.com


Union Membership Statistics in America, Live on C-SPAN’s “America by the Numbers” Segment of “Washington Journal”

U.S. CENSUS BUREAU LOGOWASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 /The following tip sheet was released today by the U.S. Census Bureau:

The union membership rate of wage and salary workers was 11.1 percent in 2014, down from 20.1 percent in 1983. The public-sector rate (35.7 percent) was more than five times higher than the private-sector rate (6.6 percent). Find out more on Friday, March 27, 2015, at approximately 9:20 a.m. EDT as Mike Horrigan, Associate Commissioner for Employment and Unemployment at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, discusses statistics about union membership in America. C-SPAN’s “America by the Numbers” segments feature information from the federal statistical system. The program highlights trends and allows the public to call in or email their views. More information on previous C-SPAN programs is available at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/cspan.html.

No news release associated with this product. Tip Sheet only.

Public Information Office
email: pio@census.gov

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau


Major Publisher Issues Essential New Fundraising Guide

This came through the pipeline this morning and although it’s kind of a dry share, I thought it worth the look-see knowing so many organizations (and friends) who are in the non-profit cycle.  The book itself is a $21.00 investment ($14.00 if you are a member of Boardsource).

“At BoardSource, we know that effectively engaging the board in fundraising is a challenge for many nonprofits. We also know that many organizations struggle to structure and communicate their fundraising strategies in a way that enables board members to add value.”

informed-fundraising-thumbInformed Fundraising: An Introduction and Guide is an important first step for organizations that are building their fundraising programs.

BoardSource was pleased to be able to work with the authors to publish this important new resource for nonprofit organizations. Based on the response that we have received since its release, it is clearly meeting a real need within the nonprofit sector.” Anne Wallestad President & CEO BoardSource

“Informed Fundraising: An Introduction and Guide” is now available at Board Source: http://bit.ly/1CdSa8S

Does your non-profit need help in improving the effectiveness of its fundraising program? Almost 60% of nonprofit board chairs and executive directors identify fundraising as one of the most important areas for board improvement. Help is now at hand with the new e-book, “Informed Fundraising: An Introduction and Guide,” written by veteran nonprofit executives Ron Wormser and Josiah Stevenson IV.

The book has been published by BoardSource, the leading organization and publisher focused on the governance of nonprofit organizations.

The book, now available online, is designed to equip board members and executive directors  with a solid understanding of what it takes to construct and execute an effective and successful fundraising program. The book will also be of interest to current and prospective board members who are unfamiliar with fundraising for nonprofits.

“Too many nonprofits are not successful in raising the money they want or need,” says lead author and Carmel, Ca. resident Wormser. “Based on our years of experience working with nonprofits, we have concluded that this is because many board leaders and executive directors have limited knowledge and experience about fundraising and what it takes to do it effectively.”

Wormser and Stevenson, who both have had decades of nonprofit fundraising experience, say that many nonprofit board members are missing the information they need to excel at this key function.

“Uninformed, they approve plans and programs that yield disappointing results,” says Wormser. “Our book will equip nonprofit leaders with the concepts and tools that will enable them to make informed, strategic fundraising decisions. If we succeed, more nonprofits will become financially stable and sustainable, and thus able to better serve those who rely on their programs and services — that is our ultimate objective.”

The book focuses on what the authors have identified as the three key components of successful fundraising:

  • Understanding — Developing familiarity with the fundamentals of raising money which form the foundation for effective fundraising programs
  • Preparation — Becoming aware of the components, of what it takes to create informed, purposeful programs
  • Execution — Knowing how to effectively carry out fundraising programs and how to monitor and assess their progress.

The Guide includes sample worksheets that illustrate the concepts discussed and how to translate those ideas into practice.

“Informed Fundraising” will also be useful to faculty and students at colleges and universities who are teaching and learning about nonprofits and their management.

In addition, organizations maintaining lists of nonprofit resource materials available to others, such as community foundations, state and local associations of nonprofits, professional associations about nonprofits, and others, might want to add the book to their libraries as well.

Lead author Wormser’s 40-year career was spent working for four different nonprofits — the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the State University of New York at New Paltz, the Institute of International Education headquartered in New York, and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Since retiring and relocating to Carmel Ca. in 2007, Wormser has been giving back to the nonprofit community as a volunteer with the Arts in Crisis program of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with various Monterey County nonprofits, as a board member and executive coach, and consultant of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team.

“Informed Fundraising: An Introduction and Guide” is now available at https://www.boardsource.org (search for Informed Fundraising in the upper right corner search field).


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