March 2020 ushered in a three-ring crisis for the Equity-League Health Trust Fund, the healthcare plan for theater actors and stage managers.
As the industry shut down indefinitely in response to Covid-19, the fund’s biggest revenue source, employer contributions, largely dried up; its stocks plunged amid a pandemic-induced market crash; and actors and stage managers lost their livelihood. In response, the trustees overseeing the fund’s investments sold all of its publicly traded stock, which as of May 31, 2020 was valued at $25 million, or 23 percent of total net assets of $107 million.
As a result, the fund missed most of a stock market rebound that would’ve generated millions of dollars. The liquidation may slow the fund’s recovery from the shutdown — at a time when few Actors’ Equity Association members, its primary constituency, qualify for even basic coverage and Broadway grosses are off by a third from two years ago.Continue Reading