Actors Equity, the union of almost 50,000 actors and stage managers, was officially created 100 years ago today, May 26, 1913.
Its members “are not blue-collar workers who work with their hands. They are not white-collar workers who work with their heads. They are workers in costume who work with their hands, their legs, their whole bodies, their minds, their hearts and their souls”~Nick Wyman, current president of Actors’ Equity Association.
Proclamation from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
Theater and the performing arts are a vital part of life in New York City. The bright lights of Broadway draw millions of tourists here year after year, and in 2012, more than half of the record 52 million visitors who traveled to the five boroughs came specifically to attend one our award- winning plays and musicals or to take in a performance at one of our renowned concert halls. Our arts and culture scene is booming and our administration is committed to ensuring the continued growth of this industry. The Actors’ Equity association is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of the people who make theater and the performing arts great and we are glad to join the members and leadership of this organization as they celebrate its 100th anniversary.
For the past century, the actors’ equity association has protected the most important interests of stage actors throughout New York City and across the country. Equity performs a crucial function as the union for more than 49,000 stage actors and managers nationwide, ensuring that its members receive fair wages, are provided with safe working conditions, and have access to benefits like health insurance and pensions. This work secures the futures of the men and women upon whom this thriving industry relies, and in turn makes our city’s theater scene even better.
Every day, actors across our city move us to laughter and to tears, inspire us to explore new themes and ideas, and offer us the chance to see the world from a different perspective. By offering security and peace of mind, equity enables its members to focus on their art, and today is a wonderful opportunity to recognize all that this organization has contributed to American theater. Together, we look forward to everything that Equity and its members will accomplish in their next century and to many more years of outstanding performances.
Now therefore, I, Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, in recognition of this centennial celebration, do hereby proclaim Sunday, May 26th, 2013 in the City of New York as:
“Actors’ Equity Day”