Peter Finlayson

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Peter Finlayson is the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-chief of FootLights magazine and footlight.click. While working on a prelaw program at the University of Michigan, he happily got involved with the theatre program. Much to his mother’s chagrin, law school never happened, but in a career spanning more than 4 decades, Peter has performed, directed or designed more than 150 productions. In his spare time, he is working on a new play. You can follow him on Twitter @Thtrdog .

Letter: Equity Stonewalls L.A. Theater Company

letter to the editor footlights

This open letter to the L.A. Theater Community first appeared on Facebook and is reprinted here with permission: Dear Colleagues, Actors Equity has chosen to put us on the public “Do Not Work” list. We want you to know the facts. For the last year, we have been attempting to have the Academy Repertory Company (our member company that was established in 2003) designated as ...

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Actors’ Gang Goes To Prison

Actors Gang

Walking into Walden House off of McArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles, can be a slightly unnerving moment.  It’s a discomforting environment, lots of tough looking guys milling about, tattoos, all a bit of trigger for me. Living in a free world, it’s readily apparent that this environment is not just a social service program, but it’s a half-way house, half way between prison and ...

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Welcome to L.A. Theatre

I had actually considered leaving this column blank. For many, that is the outlook for theatre in Los Angeles this year.  As of December 15th, there are at least 26 theaters that will no longer be able to use members of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).  I say at least, because I can probably name another 50+ that didn’t even bother to apply for company membership ...

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The Stories that Matter

For those of you unfamiliar with my story, there were portions of my life that, let me put this delicately, were a bit seedy. I spent a good number of years looking for easier and softer ways to move through life with little to no concern for those or things that didn’t involve me personally. By the grace of life, in the midst of my ...

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Letter: What 99-Seats Means to Vanessa Stewart

Actress and writer Vanessa Stewart is well-known to the Los Angeles theater community and Footlights readers.  With her husband, French, she is a popular host of LA theater award ceremonies and also a Plaintiff in the suit against her own Union, Actors’ Equity.  She compiled an extensive production database proving, once and for all time, just how valuable the Equity 99-Seat Plan was to Equity ...

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Our Oracle

There was an almost eerie silence on Facebook the night of November 8th, 2016. There was a lot of chatter, but there was a profound absence of my family. To be more precise, my theatre family. There wasn’t the usual banter and jocularity and sniping that had come to be so much a part of the run up to the elections. As I watched the ...

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Art and Labor

diego rivera workers painting detroit

I grew up in Dearborn Michigan.  For those of you unaware, Dearborn is the home of Ford Motor Company and is immediately adjacent to the City of Detroit. I mention this because there is something very unique about this particular environment.  That uniqueness, is in the intense intermingling of labor and art. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Rivera Court of the ...

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Letter: Leo Marks on Upcoming AEA Meeting

graphic town hall meeting

Footlights received this open letter to the entire Actors’ Equity membership from actor and Equity member Leo Marks.  In it, he references an upcoming Equity meeting on November 7th, 2016:  To my fellow Equity members, You might remember that we recently had an Equity Special Membership Meeting scheduled, then suddenly cancelled. It’s now finally been rescheduled for Monday, November 7th. Please don’t skip this meeting! ...

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LA Theatre Community

hollywood theater row footlights equity

The Los Angeles Theatre Community is facing an existential crisis. After decades of struggle, and a tenuous thirty-year relationship with Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the union for for actors and stage managers, the landscape is about to experience a seismic shift. On December 14th, 2016, the relatively unfettered use of AEA actors in Los Ángeles intimate theatre, wherein the actors voluntarily participate, will no longer ...

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New Opportunities!

“Of course you can bring them over, but wouldn’t it be faster if I came over there?” That would normally sound a bit urgent, but hearing this from Michelle, my wife, while waking me up at 2 am, it was pretty alarming. Ok, so I cleared my head, and realized that Michelle was probably talking to our son, who along with his wife Nicki, were ...

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