A proposed addition to New York state's labour laws could threaten the future of Broadway shows featuring child performers.
The new rules would ban children under 18 from working past 10pm - before most Broadway shows close - and slash the number of hours they work.
Actors between the ages of nine and 16 would be limited to no more than five hours of actual work and producers will have to provide on-the-job tutors when they're working for three or more days.
Critics fear the tightened regulations would make it almost impossible for underage stars to work on Broadway.
Director of labour relations for the Broadway League, Keith Halpern, tells the New York Daily News, "They are just that restrictive."
Maria Somma, spokeswoman for the Actors Equity Association, the union for stage managers and actors, adds: "It doesn't work within our environment."
The new rules stem from a 2008 law requiring the state labour commissioner to provide protection for child performers.
A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for 31 January (11).
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