League of Resident Theatres
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The League of Resident Theatres is the largest professional theater association of its kind in the United States, with 74 member Theatres located in every major market in the U.S., including 29 states and the District of Columbia. LORT Theaters collectively issue more Equity contracts to actors than Broadway and commercial tours combined.
LORT is also a forum for sharing information regarding all aspects of theater. Their semi-annual Meetings provide opportunities for LORT members to study, discuss, and exchange information on such non-labor management issues as development, marketing, public relations, education, and technology, as well as provide a forum for developing professional relationships. LORT is also committed to the continued training of current and future LORT Managers.
LORT serves as a way for member regional theatres to bargain collectively with Actors' Equity Association, The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Artists, among other major labor unions in the entertainment industry.
- To promote the general welfare of resident Theaters in the United States and its territories
- To promote community interest in and support of resident Theaters;
- To encourage and promote sound communications and relations between and among resident Theaters in the United States and between resident theaters and the public;
- To afford resident Theaters an opportunity to act for their common purpose and interest;
- To act in the interest and on behalf of its members in labor relations and related matters:
- To serve as bargaining agent for its members in bargaining collectively with unions representing employees of its members;
- To establish and maintain stable and equitable labor relations between its members and unions representing employees of its members;
- To provide guidance and assistance to its members in administering collective bargaining agreements;
- If requested by a member, to handle disputes between members and their employees and/or union representatives; and
- To represent LORT members before government agencies on problems of labor relations.
- To carry on all lawful activities which may directly or indirectly contribute to the accomplishment of such purposes; and
- To communicate with the Federal Government through the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Arts Alliance and to keep those agencies apprised of the needs and status of LORT's membership.
The League of Resident Theaters was formally established on March 18, 1966 by Peter Zeisler, then managing director of the Minnesota Theater Company (a.k.a. the Guthrie Theatre), Thomas Fichandler, general manager of Arena Stage, and Morris Kaplan, an attorney. Until then, resident theater groups negotiated individual contracts with Equity, and most of them used modifications of commercial theater contracts. In some instances, the theaters operated under the terms of Equity's new stock contract. However, resident theater managers have long felt burdened by what they called Equity's "one production" type of contract used on Broadway. Peter Zeisler was appointed the first President with Thomas Fichandler as Vice President and William Bushnell, manager of Baltimore's Center Stage, as Secretary. There were 26 member theaters at the organization's founding.
Theaters are categorized into tiers A through D. Tiers B+ through D are determined by the weekly actual box office receipts averaged over the last three complete fiscal years. No theaters can move in or out of Tier “A”.
- Categories and box office receipts are as follows:
- “B+” $110,000.00 and above
- "B" $70,000.00 to $109,999.99
- "C" $45,000.00 to $69,999.99
- "D" $44,999.99 and below
For some purposes, the "C" category is split into "C-1" and "C-2" based on seating capacity.
There are 74 member theatres listed on the 2013 LORT website:
- Drotar, Stephanie (2012). "About LORT". Lort.org. League of Resident Theatres. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Calta, Louis "26 Stage Troupes Form League to Bargain With Actors Equity" New York Times 4 April 1966, pg. 26.
- Drotar, Stephanie (2013). "LORT Member Theatres". Lort.org. League of Resident Theatres. Retrieved 30 April 2013.