Philadelphia Theatre Co. stagehands continue strike

Talks between Philadelphia Theatre Co. management and the union representing stagehands broke off at 2 a.m. Saturday without yielding a new trade agreement.

The stagehand strike continues, the union says:

"The employer will not agree to back off its demand to have the unrestricted right to hire as many non-union workers as they decide to perform the work covered in the union's jurisdiction and previously performed by the workers of the PTC who chose to be represented by the union."

Producing artistic director Sara Garonzik said: "Progress has been made and we are all eager to wrap up as soon as we can."

Talks were expected to continue Sunday.

In the meantime, the theater's run of The Mountaintop was scheduled to go on Saturday and Sunday in previews, if not exactly as originally planned. The show is "a gripping re-imagining" of events the night before the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. after delivering his "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop" speech.

Even without the unionized stagehands, performances will continue "without elaborate tech," said Garonzik. "We have a great script, wonderful actors and direction and many beautiful design elements. It is a powerful evening, and one that I am proud to show audiences."

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