About Us

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local Union No. 42 Stagehands

Was chartered in 1896, geographically representing stagehands in the greater Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area, including Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Local Union No. 40 Stagehands, representing the Sioux City, Iowa area, merged with Local Union No. 42 in 1997.

Local Union No. 42 has been meeting the live entertainment labor needs for Omaha, Council Bluffs and Sioux City for nearly 119 years.

(Photograph of IATSE Local Union No. 42 members at Labor Day Parade in Omaha in 1915.)

Since November 1896

In 1896, roughly 65 stagehands working in the theatres and music halls of Omaha, Council Bluffs, Fremont and Lincoln, organized into a union. On November 1896 the National Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, abbreviated NATSE, granted a Local Union charter to these men, assigning them the number 42. By May 1899, the Local held contracts in Omaha with the Creighton Orpheum Theatre, the Trocadero, the Nebraska Music Hall, Boyd's Theatre and the Bijou Theatre.

In August 1902, with the addition of Canadian stagehand unions, the Union became international, and the name of the Union was formally changed at Convention from NATSE to IATSE.

In 1908, as workload increased, and to facilitate efficiency in administration, members in Lincoln were chartered as a separate new Local, Local Union No. 151. With the advent of motion pictures, Local Union No. 343 was chartered to cover Projectionists in the cinemas throughout the city, and Local Union No. 831 was chartered to meet the needs of Theatrical Wardrobe workers.

(Photograph of Union Stagehands at the Brandeis Theatre at 17th & Douglas in the early 1900s)

Skilled Local Labor for Local & National Live Theatre, Concerts & Trade Shows

Local Union No. 42 has a rich history, having worked many shows over the years in local landmarks such as Ak-Sar-Ben, the Orpheum Theatre, the Civic Auditorium and Music Hall, the Joslyn Museum, the Western Heritage Museum, the Rose Theatre and in outdoor events at Memorial Park, Rosenblatt Stadium, Westfair Amphitheater, Offutt Air Force Base and Levi Carter Park. We carry on the tradition by working in two of Omaha's newest landmarks, the Qwest Center Omaha, and the Holland Performing Arts Center, both nationally recognized facilities.

Sioux City members work at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena, the Orpheum Theatre, the Sioux City Convention Center, and the IBP Ice Center. In addition, they have worked shows for Kingsbury Electronic Systems, Goony Bird Productions, Saturday in the Park, Inc. and others at venues such as the Sioux City Grandview Park Bandshell, Explorers Baseball Park, the Marina Inn Convention Center and the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota and the New Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City. Members of Sioux City have also worked corporate functions at various locations, such as the Gateway headquarters in North Sioux City, South Dakota, as well as others throughout the area.

Besides serving the Omaha and Sioux City areas, members of Local Union No. 42 have toured all across the United States and around the world working productions in numerous cities and venues.

(Photograph of swimming pool constructed for the 2008 Olympic Swim Trials at the Qwest Center Arena)

Skilled Local Labor for Sets of Films, Commercials & Television

Nebraska and Western Iowa have long been destinations for film productions, dating back to Academy Award winning Boys Town in 1938.

Members of Local Union No. 42 have worked on numerous films, commercials and television productions locally and regionally.

In 2009, work included a music video for Nickelback, the Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated film Up in the Air, the film Lucky, NBCs Halloween on Ice, WWE Smackdown and national ads for Visa and Monsanto.

Other productions our members have worked that you may have heard about:

Terms of Endearment (1983) winner 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture;
Indian Runner (1991) directed by Sean Penn;
Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1994) nominated for 2 Golden Globes;
Citizen Ruth (1995) nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival;
Election (1997) nominated for an Academy Award;
The Christmas Angel: A Story on Ice (1998) a Mannheim Steamroller television special;
About Schmidt (2001) nominated for 2 Academy Awards, the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival, and winner of 2 Golden Globes.

Local Union No. 42 instituted a Studio Mechanics Department in 2009.