Metropolitan Opera Stage Manager & Stage Director Start Petition to Support Performing Arts Industry Workers

By Francisco Salazar

Metropolitan Opera Stage Manager, Theresa Ganley and Executive Stage Director, Paula Suozzi have started a petition on to support performing arts workers in the Workers Relief and Security Act. They have directed the petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

In the petition Ganley and Suozzi write, “First, thank you for including entertainment industry workers in the CARES Act. We, the artists, craftspeople and technicians of the Performing Arts Industry ask you to support the ‘Worker Relief and Security Act’ bill released by Sens. Michael Bennet, and Jack Reed, along with Rep. Don Beyer to extend the $600 weekly paycheck boost beyond July 31. We implore you to continue to extend those benefits to both salaried and independently contracted entertainment industry workers.”

The petition continues, “The performing arts industry has been devastated by the coronavirus. It is likely that the time when we can resume work and audiences can gather again with a sense of safety will be many months from now.  Most of us who work in this industry were in the first wave of American workers to be laid off and will likely be the last to be phased back in. We ask you to remember that the artists, craftspeople and technicians who are suffering irrevocable hardship have been members of an industry that has been an 800 billion dollar part of the nation’s economy.”

Ganley told OperaWire that there hope was to get as many a they could get.

As it stands benefits for furloughed workers will last 30 days after the President’s Declaration of Emergency ends followed by a 13 week phase down. Benefits will end during the summer even though there is still uncertainty on whether or not theaters will be allowed to open this fall due to social distancing regulations.

This is the latest petition the arts has seen. Previously, Jonas Kaufmann and Ludovic Tézier began a petition directed at the EU and European governments to save the arts that received 23,494 signatures.

To sign the petition click here.