Issue 25 Insects Spring 2007

Artist Project / Actors at Work

David Levine

In January 2006, I started filing Actor’s Equity contracts for union actors to go to their day jobs.

For the duration of each contract, the workplace legally became a theater, and job performance legally “a performance.” These job performances were documented with a series of production stills.

As per union rules, various documents—programs, budget projections, contracts, ground plans—were filed with Equity. In these documents, job conditions—in the examples presented here, for Freelance Editor and Poster Distributor—became theatrical circumstances. “Audience capacity” was determined by workplace occupancy; “costume budget” was derived from the cost of a set of work clothes; “actor’s compensation” was based on the employee’s hourly wage, etc.

My project “Actors at Work” is a CiNE initiative supported by Soho Think Tank, which exhibited the documentation at the Ohio Theater in August 2006. For the opening on 12 August 2006, ten Equity actors were signed to contracts for a production called “Party.”

Freelance Editor

Poster Distributor

David Levine is a theater director working in New York and Berlin. He is currently preparing Bauerntheater, a land art project that will open in Germany in May 2007. For more information, see

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