Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Actors Equity...Celebrating 100 years!

Look for my upcoming features about this strong and creative union and the actors and stage managers who comprise it. Actors Equity Assocation is honoring their 100th anniversary with a year long celebration, kicked off this past June. The celebration will culminate in May of 2013 with special events and tributes!

“Live theatre is such an integral part of American history,” says current AEA President Nick Wyman. “It is a portal to our past, a mirror to our present, and a crystal ball to our future."

Excerpt from Actors' Equity Association (AEA) website. 

Founded in 1913, Actors Equity Association represents more than 49,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. 

The beginnings....

On May 26, 1913, at the Pabst Grand Circle Hotel 112 actors voted the Actors’ Equity Association into existence. 

Equity’s history began in secret meetings, many of which were held at the Players, the actors club on Gramercy Park that Edwin Booth had founded in 1888. After the ineffectual Actors’ Society of America voted to disband in December of 1912, a select committee of actors, mostly Players members, met “without permission” as the plaque at the club still reads, to lay the groundwork for Actors’ Equity Association. It’s no exaggeration to say that these actors risked their livelihoods and reputations by holding these meetings. (This paragraph is an excerpt from the AEA website July 2004).

Now, continuing this celebration, last week Actors Equity has released Performance of the Century, 100 Years of Actors' Equity Association and the Rise of Professional American Theater. The coffee table book has been written by well-known theatre journalist Robert Simonson and was recently published for national release by Applause Books. 

"Performance of the Century", Playbill Store

"Performance of the Century" - 100 Years

Excerpt from Actors Equity News

Actors Equity Receives Special 100th Anniversary Tony Award

"Performance of the Century", YouTube link

1 comment:

  1. I am a proud member myself for 20 years now. This is the first time I have read your blog. You write good about interesting topics.