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January 28, 2008


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it starts to feel like you're debating gay marriage with Fred Phelps.

This was EXACTLY the same thought I had, right down to the laughable argument that if you're allowed to call what is given to non-Equity performers (gays) an "award" (marriage) that it somehow makes the Equity Jeff Award (straight marriage) meaningless.

You can't ever really argue with the non-Equity haters, though. You can only pity them for the theatre they're missing while they fall over each other to spend $100 on The Pirate Queen.

Kerry Reid

Well, and how many weeks does an Equity actor have to work in order to keep their insurance? I did an interview with Jim Leaming and Carmen Roman for Performink on the new Todd Logan play they're doing, and they brought up as an aside that even being Equity doesn't mean you work all the time, especially in Chicago. So if you're an Equity actor who does two or three shows with an Equity contract, does that mean you're better at your craft than a non-Equity actor who maybe does five shows a year?

It's a ridiculous argument. Especially since I'm sure it's mostly about the Jeff people just trying to get rid of awkward nomenclature.


Hi, Kris!


Interesting--our fellows across the pond seem to be discussing a similar topic today:



Oh lord, I'm about to contradict my whole fringetastic theatre-goer persona, but I do wish the distinction between the two categories would become clearer instead of less clear. (Does anyone else think the best way to do this would be awarding them at the same time? I'm serious.)

It's less because of some hazy idea of professionalism, than because the rules are genuinely different. One winner versus as many winners as you please. And in certain cases there's a big difference just in the size of the pool. I always feel like the non-equity New Writing category is very low on competition, mostly because world premieres either come from equity companies, or from one-off companies that don't qualify.

And that just reminded me of other things that vaguely annoy me about the Jeffs. Ack, I don't know. Citation was a stupid word. But they could have worked on some changes that were less cosmetic instead.


Oh, and the main reason I wish they were all less confusing? The Jeffs once severely confused my out-of-town friend when she used them as a tool to investigate current Chicago theatre. I was able to help her out, but not everyone has a local.

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  • Kris Vire
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