CLINTON — A vote this summer by the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre Board of Directors is set to open new doors for the theater in the future.
Board members officially voted for the theater to become a member of the Actors' Equity Association in future seasons, according to CAST board member Dave Sivright. The association is essentially a labor union for theater actors and crew members, negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.
By joining the association, officials are expecting top-tier talent to be enticed to come to the Gateway area.
"We've always had absolutely fantastic talent here, and this will open up even deeper pools when it comes to the auditioning process," Sivright said Wednesday. "This distinction that the theater has earned will take us to another level."
Sivright said that being on the outside looking in at the Actors' Equity Association has, in the past, potentially caused some performers to look past the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre.
With the theater already meeting a majority of the requirements to qualify for association membership, the vote to join the organization was an easy one to make, Sivright said.
"We were complying with many of their regulations as it was, so we all figured this would be one more way to continue getting talent to come to the Showboat," Sivright said. "Now that we've earned the status of membership, we're excited going forward."
The history of the Actors' Equity is a proud one, one that officials are proud to now welcome to the Showboat Theatre.
"By the beginning of the 20th century, exploitation had become a permanent condition of an actor's employment," according to the organization's website. "Producers set their own working conditions and pay scale. There was no compensation for rehearsals or holidays and rehearsal time was unlimited. The emergence of the labor movement changed the face of American Theatre forever."
The association membership will not only attract top acting talent, but also will hopefully allow for "bigger" shows to play at the theatre.
The upsides to joining the organization are plentiful, Sivright said.
"We've always done well with getting shows, but this will elevate that even more," Sivright said. "All in all, this is a win for us."