Actors strike at California medieval-themed dinner theater
BUENA PARK, Calif. (AP) — From queens to knights, actors at a Southern California medieval-themed dinner theater have left the castle.
The Orange County Register reports Tuesday about 50 performers and stable hands have gone on strike at Medieval Times about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles in Buena Park, California.
The dinner theater — where audience members feast on chicken with their hands while watching jousts in a ring — has been flying in actors from its other locations to cover staffing gaps, said Erin Zapcic, who plays a queen at the theater and is among those walking off the job since Saturday.
The actors, who are part of the American Guild of Variety Artists, said the company has blocked efforts to raise wages and improve safety. Julia McCurdie, who also plays a queen, said actors have been injured on the job.
“I’ve seen a lot of knights get carried away in an ambulance,” McCurdie said. “These people could go work at In-N-Out and make $25 without hurting their bodies.”
Daniel J. Sobol, the company’s lawyer, told the newspaper there were only two meetings with the union before its members went on strike and that the show will go on.
“We have a team of original Medieval Times knights and squires in place, and we look forward to hosting our guests at our already scheduled performances,” Sobol said in a statement.
Medieval Times operates 10 dinner theaters in locations including Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto.