The show will not go on at North Shore Music Theatre as dozens of stagehands walk-off job.
NSMT owner Bill Hanney allegedly took over $4,000,000 in taxpayer-funded pandemic loans and grants while paying staff peanuts
**This action is unrelated to the ongoing film and television negotiations with the AMPTP**
Beverly, MA — The show will not go on at the North Shore Music Theatre.
Dozens of North Shore Music Theatre stagehands and theatre technicians went on strike Wednesday, citing owner Bill Hanney’s refusal to pay decent, family-supporting wages to the men and women who make the theatre’s acclaimed productions possible.
Hanney, of Easton, received more than $4,000,000 in taxpayer-funded loans and grants during the pandemic recovery, yet continues to pay his hardworking staff peanuts.
“Hanney is quick to grab his millions of taxpayer dollars but spent the last ten years refusing his talented employees reasonable ask: less than 50% of what people doing the same jobs in other area theaters make,” said Colleen Glynn, IATSE Local 11 Business Manager. “He walked away from discussions with these loyal workers insisting they keep working for peanuts.”
Stagehands and theatre technicians at Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre are paid 60% less than the area’s industry average. They don’t receive employer provided benefits, nor were they offered hazard pay during the pandemic.
Staff walked off the job at 4:15pm Wednesday in front of a full house of subscribers, during the open dress rehearsal matinee of MAMMA MIA! They were followed by union actors and musicians, who say they also won’t return to work until Hanney recognizes the stagehands’ many contributions. Tonight is Opening Night of the show at 7:30pm.
Carrying signs that declared “Bill Hanney’s: PAYING PEANUTS! Have the UNDERPAID time of your life!” and chanting outside of the theater, the audience was treated to an impromptu second show.
The stagehands and technicians say they love the North Shore Music Theatre, and they take tremendous pride in delighting audiences with fantastic productions day in and day out. They just want to be compensated appropriately for their skills and expertise.
“I love the work I do because, honestly, it’s just fun to use my skills to make magic,” said IATSE Local 11 member and NSMT Carpenter Myles McMann, “You get to see the whole show spring to life from the initial designer plates through to the finished live show.”
The stagehands are proud members of IATSE Local 11. They’re honored to have the support of their colleagues, members of Actor’s Equity and the American Federation of Musicians.
IATSE Local 11 members at North Shore Music Theater join a nationwide movement of IATSE locals in theater, film, television, and related crafts that declared they are ready to strike over this past weekend. 98% percent of the voting membership of the union voted to strike. Union workers in the entertainment industry are ready to halt production across the U.S. for workplace protections, fair pay and especially proper breaks and rest. The entertainment workers union and the AFL-CIO have declared this month #Striketober.