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Stage Directors Union Joins Advocacy Coalition DPE in Move Toward Political Engagement

Variety logo Variety 2/21/2017 Gordon Cox
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The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the theatrical union that represents directors and choreographers, has signed on to become an affiliate of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO — the coalition of more than 20 unions banded together for research and advocacy.

SDC’s move comes in response to a November membership meeting at which the rank and file pushed for the union to become more politically engaged. The union’s executive board also recently formed the Political Engagement Committee, chaired by “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” director Rachel Chavkin, and passed a resolution to oppose the nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor. (Puzder has since withdrawn his nomination.)

SDC, currently headed up by president Pam MacKinnon of the upcoming Broadway musical “Amelie,” joins showbusiness unions including Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and WGA, East as an affiliate of the DPE. Founded in 1977, the coalition — which now represents more than four million professional and technical employees — is watching out for the potential defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other areas of concern to the group.

SDC reps some 4,000 stage directors and choreographers around the country, with members working everywhere from Broadway to resident theaters to dinner theaters.

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