Musical staff

Remaining Victory Gardens Theater staff move to unionize with IATSE

Staff at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, which has been engulfed in accusations of “toxic behavior” and “lack of transparency,” are seeking union representation. The remaining 16 employees, who remain at an impasse with the theater’s board of directors, have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board.

The remaining staff are represented by IATSE Locals Stagehands Local 2, Treasurers and Ticket Sellers Local 750, and Wardrobe Local 769.

“Organizing gives us the power of collective bargaining and a stronger support system than we currently have access to as individual, at-will employees. Unionization guarantees us a place at the table, as well as leverage to push for worker safety measures that will benefit all Victory Gardens employees,” the group told the LA Times in a statement.

It was recently reported that the Victory Gardens Board of Directors informed staff that current Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin had been furloughed and that the final candidate for the vacant General Manager position, Marissa Lynn Ford, had withdrawn.

Acting chief executive Roxanna Conner had also told staff members she was stepping down at the end of last month. Resident directors Lili-Anne Brown and Jess McLeod, and ensemble playwrights Marisa Carr, Keelay Gipson, Isaac Gómez and Stacey Rose announced in an online post that they have also resigned from the theater.

In a collectively signed message, the group accused the volunteer board of a “lack of transparency” and past “toxic behavior”.

This is a developing story.

Photo credit: Greg Shutters, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons