Philadelphia Theatre Company Board Member Resigns Amid Stagehands Strike

Late last week, striking members of IATSE Local 8, Philadelphia’s stagehands union, began targeting the businesses of Philadelphia Theatre Company’s board members, as PTC opened a stripped-down version of its latest play, The Mountaintop, without the stagehands. The union demanded that the board members resign or suffer an appearance by the giant inflatable rat. And today, I learned that PTC board member Salvatore Patti (pictured) has resigned.

Patti, a vice-president with PNC Bank, did not want to talk about his resignation or the strike, but a PNC Bank spokesperson told me that Patti resigned not because of any threats from the union but because of a “potential conflict of interest.” According to Local 8 business manager Mike Barnes, Local 8 does its banking with PNC.

Meanwhile, the strike continues as does the run of The Mountaintop. Barnes tells me that the giant union rat popped up over the weekend in front of the home of PTC board president Priscilla Luce and that the union has taken its protest to the personal and professional Facebook pages of board members. He says that the next step is to go after the companies that advertise in the show’s Playbill, and perhaps the New York headquarters of Playbill itself.

There’s no end in sight for the strike. I told PTC spokesperson Deborah Fleischman that I’d be curious to see both the pre-strike and after-strike versions of the show. “There’s not going to be another version,” was her reply.

One PTC source told me that some theatergoers have been requesting refunds. “They’ve been refunding anyone who asks for it either before or after seeing the show,” said the source. “They’re also refunding parking.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.a.giaquinto Michael Anthony Giaquinto

    Nice job or reporting, I can’t believe the show is about Martian Luther King and worker rights , and the PTC will not talk with the union to settle this mater. That is the difference between professorial and un-professorial. all the shows in NY are professorial union stagehands and all the theaters in Philadelphia are professorial union stagehands. why would you not want the same professorial workforce working their show!!!! no thrill theater !!!! lol

  • Mickey Gravey

    What is the dispute over? Is it money, work rules, pension contributions, health care contributions, union dues, out of town workers, jurisdiction, or something else? Is the board being ‘unfair’ to the workers? I would not be surprised to find out the stagehands are getting twice the money that the talent is. I think we all know who the real rats are in this town.