todd 280 copy 2.jpg




for AEA

Eastern Chorus




Todd is honored to be endorsed by #UNITE2FIGHT @Unite2Fight4You

Contracts Worked

Production, Production (Tiered Tour), SETA, LORT, LORT - Experimental, Workshop, Off-Broadway, Special Agreement - Encores, MSUA, LOA, COST, WCLO, TYA. Codes: Showcase, Reading


Candidate Statement

Hey friends. It’s me, Todd Buonopane, Super-Deputy! This is why I deserve to be your next Eastern Chorus Councillor.  


First, I’m experienced. I currently serve on 6 committees. I negotiated a much improved SETA contract. I helped create what will be a great solution to our Lab/Workshop/Development problem. And I have served my LGBTQ brothers and sisters by inserting Trans inclusive language into the SPT contract and by petitioning our Health Fund to fully cover Truvada/PrEP (our best chance to eradicate HIV/AIDS).


As a Councillor, I would fight to make Equity STRONGER:

  • Tougher in negotiations

  • Less lenient with concessions

  • Unyielding when it comes to safe and sanitary

  • Stronger in our fight to #ChangeTheStage for our members of color, differently abled members & LGBTQ members

  • More effective in achieving gender parity in hiring

  • Bolder in organizing new theaters and creating new jobs


But, the main reason I belong on council is: I AM A COLLABORATOR. Right now, the passionate members of our governance are not collaborating very well. They need to listen to each other. I believe I have the ability to bring people out of their corners to work together.


FWOC: I have been fighting for salaries based on a theater’s overall budget for 4 years. Let’s collaborate!

YESAND: I believe in saying a lot more YES to a lot more ideas. Let’s collaborate!

PRO99: I lived in LA for 3 years. I have a pretty good understanding of how different the theater landscape is there. Let’s collaborate!


And above all, I want to collaborate with you: THE MEMBERSHIP OF AEA.


  • Friday, April 13, 2018 - Distibution of Ballots (due to new Labor department regulations, all voting will be done with paper ballots by mail)

  • Monday, April 23, 2018 - Annual National Membership Meeting

  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - Deadline to request replacement ballot

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - Deadline for Receipt of Ballots


  • SLATES - While I have accepted an endorsement from UNITE2FIGHT (a collection of candidates celebrating individuality) I am not a fan of "Slates".  I do not question the sincerity of any candidate choosing to run on a slate.  Anyone that is choosing to put effort in to be elected to a volunteer position has their heart in the right place.  BUT, I believe slates have contributed to the current divisiveness in our governance. There is also so much nuance when it comes down to individual issues. Signing on to a single ideology keeps councillors from examining all sides of an issue.
  • EXPERIENCE - New voices are important. New voices are what help move our Union forward. I wanted to run for council 6 years ago. A friend encouraged me to join committees first. I am so glad I did. I was not ready to serve 6 years ago. Our contracts and our governance are complicated. A good councillor should be able to hit the ground running. That takes experience. 
  • JUDGE IT BY THE BUDGET - In 2015, I worked at a great LORT theater, doing some of the toughest and best work of my career.  I was paid slightly over a LORT D salary. It was a small theater. I understood. Then I learned the Artistic Director of that theater made over 400k a year.  And they threw parties for their millionaire donors regularly.  Yes, the theater I worked in only had 150 seats, but that theater had a huge budget. I should have been paid more.  We should all be paid more in these theaters.
  • TOURING - Touring is not what it used to be. This rightfully gets members upset. But this is not your Union's fault. The business changed. Let's take Florida for example.  In the 80's, Florida had about 4 major cities that tours could go to.  Floridians would drive 2 hours to the closest touring house.  In recent years, more touring houses have opened.  There are now about 10-12 major cities to tour threw in Florida.  That means tours can't play as long in cities. Tours move more often. Every move costs money.  ALSO, a certain theater owner owns nearly half of the touring houses. These touring houses used to compete for certain tours at certain times.  This competition drove guarantees offered to producers.  No competition means lower guarantees.  Equity has done a wonderful job of adapting and holding onto the road.  (Unfortunately, these road presenters are not our negotiating partners. But I think in this time of Sinclair media, it is time to expose these theater owners for what they are doing to our industry.)
  • WHY CHORUS? - The members of the chorus are the ones that most depend on the contract and salaries negotiated by Equity. Negotiating strong safety rules is important. Negotiating fair treatment is important. Negotiating higher minimum salaries is IMPORTANT.  As a character man, I haven't had the opportunity to spend much time in the chorus. But when I'm a deputy, I spend most of my time looking out for the needs of the chorus. So, as a councillor, I want to continue to look out for the chorus.

PLease contact me with any concerns or questions at