The Playgoer: Even the Agents are Getting Laid Off!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Even the Agents are Getting Laid Off!

Yet another outpost of the theatre industry hit by the recession: the William Morris Agency.

Peter Franklin, the longtime head of WMA's theater department, was among the 100-plus WMA staffers to get a pink slip earlier this week.

A fixture at the agency, Franklin worked with a list of firmly established legit creatives including Edward Albee, Arthur Laurents and Terrence McNally.

News of Franklin's departure amid the consolidation of WMA and Endeavor operations sounds like confirmation of long-swirling rumors that the WMA theater department would be shut down in the merger with Endeavor. However, a rep for WME said there are no plans to scuttle the division. Franklin was the only member of the legit team to go, leaving a roster of agents that includes David Kalodner, Susan Weaving, Val Day, Derek Zasky, Jonathan Lomma and Biff Liff.

Last time I checked, Laurents, Albee, and McNally all seem to still be working pretty regularly and, therefore, bringing in some dough to WMA. So what gives?

Oh yeah, that merger....

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