Mandalit del Barco

Hollywood film and TV productions could soon shut down if contract negotiations aren't resolved. Production staff in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, voted to authorize a strike Monday over disputes with studio producers about their schedules, pay and work conditions. The threat of an actual strike could be leverage during any future negotiations, which could happen this week as the two sides sit down again for talks.

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A judge suspended Jamie Spears' conservatorship of his daughter's estate yesterday. And outside of the LA courtroom, Britney's fans cheered. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was there.

(CHEERING)

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Updated September 29, 2021 at 9:06 PM ET

Pop star Britney Spears has been living under a legal conservatorship that has controlled every aspect of her life since 2008. For much of that time, all decisions about her personal, medical and financial affairs have been completely controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, who initiated the conservatorship 13 years ago — and whom the singer has accused of exploiting her.

Updated September 28, 2021 at 7:26 PM ET

Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra share an whimsical, avant-garde sensibility to filmmaking. Individually and as a power couple, they've created fresh, experimental cinema. And this year, they are each getting their own MacArthur fellowships, otherwise known as "genius grants," making them the first married couple to each win the prestigious award at the same time.

Social justice, anti-racism and joy: These are the themes of a collection of original songs written by family musicians Dan and Claudia Zanes. Smithsonian Folkways has just released their first duo album, Let Love Be Your Guide. It's filled with uplifting messages.

"It's an anthem of love and joy and possibility and community," Claudia says, speaking from their home in Baltimore.

For years, people of color have struggled to break into Hollywood. One reason? The film industry is built on relationships, and many of those relationships often begin in film school, where the right connections can open important doors. Now, the country's top film schools are trying to foster those connections for people of color by creating a pipeline to the industry for filmmakers whose work remains underrepresented.

Comedian Norm Macdonald, a beloved Saturday Night Live cast member in the 1990s, has died. His management company confirmed that the 61-year-old had battled cancer for nine years.

Giuseppe Verdi's opera Il Trovatore tells a story of passion, secrets and revenge. The LA Opera, due to reopen this month with a production of Verdi's work after canceling its 2020-21 season because of the pandemic, has added its own new backstage tale of resilience.

Nearly 40 years since they last made music together, the members of ABBA are back. The Swedish pop group has announced an upcoming "hologram" concert in London and its first studio album in four decades.

"We took a break in the spring of 1982, and now we've decided it's time to end it," the band announced in a news release. "They say it's foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we've recorded a follow-up to The Visitors."

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