Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
August 29, 2013, by

CAEA Ontario Regional Meeting 2013

Ontraio Councillors Mark Brownell, Vinetta Strombergs, Aaron Willis and Hume Baugh talking Equity with Praxis in 2012

Ontario Councillors Mark Brownell, Vinetta Strombergs, Aaron Willis and Hume Baugh talking Equity with Praxis in 2012

ONTARIO EQUITY MEMBERS: You are cordially invited to attend this year’s C.A.E.A. Ontario Regional General Meeting!

Where: Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario
When: Monday, September 9th at 7 p.m.

This year’s agenda is packed with many important issues that directly affect you as a member.

1: A preliminary status report from the Executive Director on CTA Engagement Levels 1 & 2

2: A new dues referendum on the horizon

3: Panel Discussion – The Incredible Shrinking Rehearsal Period

A timely examination of best practices in rehearsal. Why are we putting up with less and less rehearsal time in English Canada? How can the situation be improved? What can our association do about it?

Make sure you present your current membership card at the door. Drinks to follow. Join us!

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  1. Mark says:


    This is an important meeting on a number of fronts.

    The new CTA ratification brought a radical change to Equity salary levels – introducing a multi-tiered structure. Actors on a Tier 2 contract accept less than the previous minimums – and the intended trade-off is that there is more work available for members that would normally go to non-member performers.

    The new dues referendum is a very contentious issue amongst the membership. On the one hand it seems like a no-brainer – we haven’t had a dues increase since ’96. On the other hand, many different sectors of the membership are questioning what they would receive in exchange for that increase. And that makes things a little…sticky. One thing is very clear. The battleground is in Ontario. All of the other regions passed the previous dues request by a large margin. It’s just those cranky Ontario members again. (This cranky Ontario Member personally supports this increase, btw.)

    The panel discussion re: shrinking rehearsal periods is something that comes up fairly often in discussion. We all have horror stories about too short/manic rehearsal periods. The problem is particularly chronic in English Canada – where we don’t appear to value a longer, more in depth process. Something needs to be done.

  2. Jacob Zimmer says:

    On rehearsal time – Do you imagine the conversation including different models of rehearsing / using the time and the resources in different ways? And how Equity could remove resistance to that process.

    Specifically I’m thinking about how
    unproductive / uncreative / inhumane / unsustainable
    the 8 hours a day / 6 days a week / x weeks in a row that run right into performance is.

    The current contracts encourage, if not enforces, this pretty insane way of working.

    It would be nice if the conversation was beyond “there should be more money” – because of course there should.
    There are also non-money things that can be done to make better art (if that’s the goal.)

    Would love to hear an update / have a broader conversation at the Unconference (link)

  3. @ Jacob – Great point. More money would be great, but I’m wondering if Equity can adapt to the notion that rehearsals happen differently with the vast majority of the downtown Toronto companies I am familiar with.

    The Tangerine Contract allows for SOME flexibility in early creation stages, but necessarily moves towards the model you mentioned as you draw closer to production. Personally I think 8 hour day 6 day weeks are antithetical to a rigorous artistic process. Everyone is too burnt out and not enough people have had sleeps where ideas percolate into the brain.

    Interesting to note that because of the nature of the Rep system, Stratford and Shaw almost never have eight hour rehearsals for the same show, although actors often have two four-hour rehearsals for different ones. So you are rehearsing over a longer period of time with shorter rehearsals and I think that really helps the work be more rigorous in those places.

  4. Mark Brownell says:


    @Jacob – there is a lot more rehearsal flexibility now with some of the lower level indie agreements. I think Equity is beginning to acknowledge that there is a very wide range of indie rehearsal practice out there that it cannot control. Your point about standard rehearsal practices and times is bang on. As Michael says, the Tangerine was an attempt by PACT and Equity to address this.

    A correction to my previous post: The previous dues referendum did not pass by a wide margin in some other regions (BC/Alberta).