One Hundred Years of Equity

30 Aug

AEA Party 42 (479x520)

Many of our favorite names and faces from local stages gathered at the Alley Theatre recently to celebrate the 100th birthday of Actors Equity – the “actors union” formed to make making a living this way a bit less difficult than it tends to be.  The Houston/Galveston chapter of AEA, along with Equity membership candidates and local theater producers, got together for a party hosted by a local liaison committee in the long lobby outside the Alley’s Hubbard Stage.

AEA Party 50 (520x383) (2)

“Belonging to Actors’ Equity immediately identifies a person as a professional actor or stage manager in the United States,” said local committee chairman Joel Sandel, pictured above with fellow actor Sean Patrick Judge and artistic director Rebecca Greene Udden of Main Street Theater. “It guarantees reasonable working hours and safe working conditions, as well as a fair wage and health insurance for those who work regularly. AEA is a community of artists who take tremendous pride, not only in what we do but, also, in the rich history of all the great theater professionals who have come before us over the last one hundred years.”

AEA Party 41 (520x371)

The food was catered by Jim Benton Catering of Houston and the birthday cake was supplied by Carrie Made the Cake. Steven Jones played the piano for the festivities and Dalton DeHart was on hand to photograph it all. Nick Wyman, President of AEA, and Mary McColl, AEA’s Executive Director, came in from New York to be a part of this landmark celebration: both agreed it was one of the best they’ve attended (all 27 liaison cities around the country are hosting a Centennial Party for AEA). Pictured above are Houston-based actors Susan Koozin and Joe Kirkendall.

AEA Party 30 (520x370)

Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker (shown above planting a kiss on Charles Swan) was the special guest and all of the guests were delighted to have the chance to meet and have photographs taken with her. Mayor Parker addressed the crowd briefly, and voiced her support of labor unions in the United States, to the delight of everyone. She also presented a special proclamation to the local membership naming August 18, 2013, Actors’ Equity Association Day in Houston. Oh what a day, to paraphrase Broadway’s favorite Jersey Boys.

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