A staged reading of “Farewell My Concubine” is moving forward during the Equity strike against developmental work because its producers are not part of the Broadway League.
Produced by former Disney Theatrical Group executive Steve Fickinger, Rob Minkoff, who directed the animated “The Lion King” and other Disney films, and film producer Phillip Lee, the musical, which features a score by Jason Robert Brown, recently posted an Equity audition notice for a reading slated to take place from Feb.11 through Feb. 15. Fickinger said the reading will go on as planned and has the approval of Equity.
“We’re staying in contact with Equity on a regular basis,” Fickinger said, adding that the production is staying within the union’s guidelines.
Equity confirmed that the producers and this reading are not affected by the strike.
The producers and creative team have been developing “Farewell My Concubine,” which is based on a novel by Pik Wah Lee and its film adaptation in 1993, for several years, Fickinger said.
As part of the strike, Equity has stated that its actors and stage managers, as well as Equity member candidates, are not allowed to accept employment in any developmental work produced by a member of the Broadway League.
Some developmental work is still continuing amid the strike, as actors can audition for productions on the “Do Not Work” list, but cannot accept offers. And like “Farewell My Concubine,” musicals such as “Chasing Rainbows” have been able to go on with producers who are not members of the League and with modified contracts.
Equity recently updated its “Do Not Work” list, which lists Broadway League producers, to specifically include staged readings of announced Broadway musicals “Tootsie” and “Moulin Rouge” and others.