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Strike Talks Continue

Contract talks aimed at ending the 21-week-old actors strike against the advertising industry resumed Monday in New York. This week's meetings follow three days of meetings last week. Altogether, the latest round of bargaining has lasted longer than any previous talks the sides had held since contract talks broke off initially in April.

"We continue to hold productive talks," Association of National Advertisers executive vp Daniel Jaffe said. "The fact that we had three days of talks last week and another day today is a hopeful sign. We certainly haven't had anything like this since the middle of April. We're crossing our fingers."

The unions and the ad industry, Jaffe said, "started far apart, and you can never be certain if you can cross that tightrope and reach a fair agreement, but we're making an all-out effort. I'd love to have this end, and I'm sure the people on the other side, who have lost hundreds of millions of dollars, would like to see this end."

Screen Actors Guild chief negotiator John McGuire declined comment.

SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, meanwhile, have found three members guilty of "scabbing" during the strike. The unions declined to reveal the members' names but said the punishments handed down by union trial boards include a combination of thousands of dollars in fines, suspension of membership rights and privileges, and ordering the guilty to volunteer for several weeks of service to the unions on strike-related or other activities.

"Both unions are continuing to hold trial board proceedings as quickly as possible," SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said. "It's important to note that members hear the facts and testimony in each case and determine the punishment. Considering that we're now in the fifth month on strike against the ad industry, the number of members coming before the SAG and AFTRA trial and review boards is extremely small. We have 99.99-percent member support for the strike, but those who do cross the line will be found and will be held accountable for their actions."

The unions staged a rally in New York on Monday to support their negotiators, while in Los Angeles, union members rallied to protest "derogatory" comments made last week by Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher about the actors strike.

—David Robb (BPI)

Off the Wire…

NATIONAL—The United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. is seeking entries for its 2001 Architecture Awards program. Any theatre, whether a new construction or a retrofit or renovation of a previously existing building, is eligible if work on the project was completed after Jan. 1, 1991. The awards recognize outstanding theatre architecture projects for their design excellence and ability to resolve many aesthetic, regulatory, technical, and operational challenges. Architects practicing anywhere within the seven continents may enter one or more submissions. Awards entries must be submitted by Nov. 1, 2000. Entry forms and rules available from the USITT web site, www.usitt.org or by calling 800-93USITT…

Blockbuster is seeking entries to honor one outstanding full-length independent film in the Blockbuster Independent Filmmaker Award. The winner will receive a bonus of $100,000 and a distribution deal that will include a complete marketing campaign surrounding the release of the film to more than 4,000 corporate Blockbuster stores nationwide. All entries must be received by Dec. 31, 2000. Submission forms are available at participating Blockbuster locations, online at www.blockbuster.com, and in industry publications including Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Filmmaker Magazine.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA—To help screenwriters get recognition, encouragement, and connections for selling their screenplays, the 6th Annual Monterey County Film Commission Screenwriting Contest is now open for entries. Submissions must be full-length film or television movie scripts between 90 and 130 pages long. The entry deadline is Jan. 31, 2001. Complete rules and a submission form can be downloaded from the film commission website at www.filmmonterey.org. For further information, call (831) 646-0910…

The San Francisco Mime Troupe will open its revived City for Sale Sept. 28 at Cellspace in the Mission in San Francisco as a benefit performance for Proposition L, before hitting the road to play Off-Broadway and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Prop. L, on the San Francisco ballot in November, bans lofts and offices from the city's besieged industrial zones. For more information, call (415) 863-9834…

Teatro ZinZanni, the combination of European cabaret, circus arts, music, comedy, theatrical antics, and gourmet dinner, enters its sixth month of performance at Pier 27/29 in San Francisco with a variety of new internationally acclaimed artists on the roster. The run of Teatro ZinZanni is now open-ended, with tickets available six weeks out. www.teatrozinzanni.org, or call (415) 438-2668…

The Western Stage receives an official commendation from the Salinas City Council and Mayor Caballero with special notice given to the theatre's Young Company Division for its work with children. For 26 years, the Western Stage has remained a vital source of pride for the city of Salinas.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA—Los Angeles Opera artistic director Placido Domingo announced the formation of Domingo's Angels, a new underwriting program comprising donors who have each pledged $1 million over 4 years. The program has been created to support artistic initiatives in the Domingo era. In addition to major support from Alberto Vilar, the inaugural members of Domingo's Angels are Robert V. Adams and Barbara Abercrombie; Frank and Kathrine Baxter; Leslie and John Dorman; the Leonard Green Foundation; Warner and Carol Henry; the Marc and Eva Stern Foundation; the Walter Lantz Foundation through Trustee Edward Landry; Selim Zilkha and Mary Hayley; and an anonymous donor…

Agents Julie McDonald and Tony Selznick, who represent the top choreographers in show business, have left Kazarian/Spencer after 15 years, taking with them their entire client roster to launch McDonald/Selznick Associates. McDonald and Selznick are still the only West Coast agents who represent choreographers exclusively for feature film, television, commercial, legit theatre, live entertainment, and music video production…

The Hollywood/Columbus Book Screenplay Discovery Awards is now accepting entries. Screenplay and Book winners receive cash (up to $10,000) and free VIP passes to the Hollywood Film Festival's Hollywood Film Conference. For form and guidelines, http:// www.screenwriters.com/ccs…

The Theatre League Alliance of Southern California has announced full operation of the organization's new online half-price theatre ticket operations at www.theatrela.org. Visitors to WebTIX can select from a wide range of theatrical productions and use a major credit card to purchase half-price tickets for that day's performance…

Zhang Jianya's Crash Landing will kick off this year's Chinese Film Festival in Los Angeles on Sept. 25 with an opening gala and reception honoring the People's Republic of China, at the Lloyd E. Rigley Theater at the Egyptian in Hollywood. With the goal of fostering a continued dialogue of cultural exchange and understanding, all screenings are free and open to the public. (888) 906-FILM…

Richard Barr, president of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Foundation, has announced that Fame: The Musical will be added to the second season of the Foundation's Musical Series to replace Ragtime, whose representatives have announced that the tour will suspend operations prior to reaching Pasadena. (626) 449-7360…

Betty Richardson, president of the board for the Lobero Theatre Foundation, has announced the appointment of John D. Marsch as the theatre's executive director, replacing Nancy Lynn, who has served in this capacity for the past 15 years. Marsch, who joined the Lobero Board one year ago, will initiate activity to position the organization for a major fundraising effort to ensure its long-term financial stability…

The Moonlight Amphitheatre's production of Grease will feature the show's disc jockey, Vince Fontaine, in a half-hour preshow, which will include spinning records from the 1950s and a nightly trivia contest. Grease runs Wed.-Sun. through Sept. 24 at Moonlight Amphitheatre's Avo Playhouse in Vista…

The Music Theatre of Southern California will present Evita Sept. 15-Oct. 1 at the Civic Auditorium in San Gabriel, and October 6-8 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. For Civic tickets, call (626) 308-2868. For Alex tickets, call (800) 233-3123…

Performances of We Are Still Here, the story of Katherine Siva Saubel and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California, will be presented Sept. 21-22 at Cal State San Bernardino Performance Arts Center. An additional performance will take place on Sept. 23 at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in San Bernardino. (562) 437-8226…

The Chance Theater will present Theatrical Friends, a benefit show on Sept. 24 in Anaheim Hills. (714) 777-3033…

Chusma, a Chicano theatre troupe, will perform a reformulated version of Culture Clash's hit comedy The Mission on Sept. 23 at the Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge. The Mission is a fast-paced 90-minute play that revolves around three struggling Latino/Chicano actors trying to break into Hollywood. (818) 677-2488…

Meanwhile, the members of Culture Clash themselves will perform Culture Clash Coast to Coast, a "greatest hits" anthology of their acclaimed residencies in Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, and New York's Nuyorican community, as part Grand Performances at Downtown L.A.'s California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Thurs.-Fri. 8 p.m. Free; post-performance discussion. (213) 687-2159…

The Towne Street Theatre company continues the Sunday Staged Reading Series with Joleta on Sept. 24 at Lucy Florence Coffee House in Los Angeles. (213) 624-4796…

Writers at Work, a creative writing center based in Silverlake, will hold its annual Open House on Sept. 24. The center offers ongoing weekly workshops, special workshops by guest instructors, creative consultations, manuscript review and editorial services, writing retreats, readings, and other special events to promote the literary arts. (323) 661-5954…

Rags, the sweeping tale of Ellis Island immigrants and their struggle to make a life for themselves in the New World, will open the 5th season of the Musical Theatre Guild's Broadway in Concert series at the Pasadena Playhouse on Sept. 25. (818) 848-6844…

The American Renegade Theatre will present The Quiet Room Sept. 27-28 in North Hollywood. The performances will be a fundraiser for the theatre's outreach program, Youth at Risk, benefiting multicultural programs, highlighted by a holiday gala at the theatre incorporating plays, opera, dance, and art exhibitions. (818) 763-1834…

Ross Bell, producer of Fight Club and Under Suspicion, will be the guest speaker at the next Hollywood Networking Breakfast on Sept. 28 at Paramount Studios. The monthly event is presented by Changing Images in America, an organization dedicated to developing, producing, and supporting programs that promote diversity in American culture. For reservations/information, call (310) 477-0996…

Nominees for the 2000 Ovation Awards will be announced on Sept. 25 at the new Colony Theatre in Burbank. Established in 1989, the Theatre League Alliance of Southern California Ovation Awards were created to celebrate theatrical achievement and excellence, and are the only peer-judged competitive theatre awards in Los Angeles. The ceremonies will be held on Oct. 30 at the Ahmanson Theatre Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County…

A Noise Within announces its spring 2000 Professional Intern Program, with positions in acting and production. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30. The program offers a comprehensive educational experience for emerging theatre artists with Southern California's acclaimed classical repertory company. (323) 953-7787.

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