Stumptown Stages dumps musicians from musical theater


Stumptown Stages, a nonprofit musical theater company in Portland, is laying off its union musicians, saying it will use recorded music in upcoming productions.

Stumptown Stages voluntarily recognized American Federation of Musicians Local 99 in 2020 and negotiated a first collective bargaining agreement. It lists the union relationship on its webpage as one of many actions it’s taking to further diversity, equity, and inclusion.

But Local 99 Secretary  Treasurer Mont Chris Hubbard says negotiations have not produced a second contract, and no further negotiations are scheduled. They may even be moot: On Jan. 16, the company notified the union it won’t be using musicians at all for this season’s musicals. “Kinky Boots” and “Legally Blonde” — performing March through May at the publicly owned Winningstad Theatre — instead will use recorded music.     


  1. I just saw Kinky Boots on Easter Sunday (and Trans Visibility Day). The sound quality was terrible. It sounded like the musical accompaniment was coming from a boom-box off stage. Everything was under-miked. The performers did their best to power thru, but it sounded like a dress rehearsal.


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