Thomas C. Short, the president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Broadway stangehands’ parent union, granted strike authorization to Local One last night. Mr. Short will advise James J. Claffey, the president of Local One, “as to the time and date when the strike will begin.”
If the stagehands do walk out, it will be the second time in less than five years that much of Broadway has been shut down by a strike. The musicians’ strike in 2003, which lasted four days, was the first time in nearly three decades that Broadway was shut down by a labor dispute.
A strike would cause almost all Broadway theaters to go dark, shuttering 27 shows now running. Broadway’s four nonprofit theaters — plus the New Amsterdam, the Circle in the Square, the Helen Hayes and the Hilton Theater — all operate under separate contracts with the union, and the shows in them would remain up and running.