Equity Next is a growing group of stage managers and actors. We are a volunteer collective of general members, former and current Council members, and organizers dedicated to fortifying our union by uplifting the voices and needs of the general membership. We came together because we believe our union members can work together to win better protections for all of us as workers in the theater industry. Find answers to commonly asked questions below or head to our mission and principles page to learn more.
Nope. Many members congregate in dressing rooms, Facebook groups, and bars to vent their opinions about our union. We are members who have chosen to create a space for that same discussion where the goal is to move that talk into action! So, no, we are not a formal campaign, committee, or group representing the offices of Actors’ Equity Association. We are a grassroots movement of AEA members that work alongside and in conversation with the union. We believe wherever union members gather there are opportunities to organize. We believe union members are the union.
Sorry to disappoint. Truly, we just want to figure out how to make a stronger union together. On the one hand, we are drawn together because we have ideas for additions to our union and we’d like to discuss and plan them. On the other hand, we’re drawn together out of frustration by how some pre-existing union mechanisms work, and to discuss making them better. Either way, we love our union, and we take all this work in stride. Working as members outside of formal union mechanisms allows us room for experimentation, as well as an expediency not otherwise possible. The truth is that the Equity Next project finding “success” would mean it ceases to need to exist anymore, having made an impact on the formal mechanisms of the union. We look forward to that day!
Every two years, seats on the Actors' Equity Association council open up for election. The current election period is underway, with ballots due by May 24th, and we are encouraging union members to vote for progressive, class-conscious candidates who will strive to bring more voices of the general membership into the governing body. Meet our slate!
Yes and no. For all the talk of members wanting change, council is where it really goes down. We have a small crop of candidates who believe in this project and share its core values. And we’d like them to win so they can set about doing good work. However, Equity Next is not conceived of simply as a slate, but a movement which is endorsing a slate of candidates. The candidates simultaneously see themselves as organizers among many in the movement. The primary focus—for our candidates and the movement as a whole—is about getting the general membership more educated and engaged.
Equity Next is committed to a long-term vision of change. We are not about prescribing solutions, but creating a space for members to come to the best conclusions among themselves. We’ll figure it out together. No, really! All of this is being built in real time, and if you’re interested, shoot us a message or attend an event so your voice can be heard and influence the shape of change! We’d love to have you.
Welcome to the union! Part of our efforts is to make information about the union, how it works, and the benefits and struggles of a union as accessible and widespread to its members as possible. Check out our events page to learn more.
Yes! We would love for folks who are non-union to learn more about the union, its benefits and places for growth, and what to expect should you choose to join. Our aim is to educate all union and non-union stage managers and actors as much as we can without jeopardizing the confidentiality of our union.
There are two main classes in our society: employers, and employees. Across industries and incomes, you’ll consistently find a line drawn between those two groups in that one gets to call the shots at work, and the other depends on the shot callers for a paycheck. A cursory look at the history of laboring in the modern world shows us that every good thing we have (weekends, minimum wages, working hours, child labor laws, etc) was won because at some point workers banded together and said “enough is enough.” We banded together as a class: as workers. Enter unions. A union is a group of people who—whether they value it or not—share class interests and needs within their industry. “Class consciousness” is the project of helping people understand and value their shared condition as workers. We want theater workers to realize the power and responsibility they have at their disposal right now. We want them to win!
Changes in contracts and collective bargaining agreements come about because of member engagement and influence on council. It’s essential that you, as a member, make your voice heard by those in power to vote for change. Click here for a list of committee officers and their e-mail addresses on the member portal. Click here to contact Equity Next and let us know what you’re experiencing and how we can help you advocate for yourself.
We believe investing in the community is an investment in yourself. Strength in numbers is the most powerful tool in gaining collective wins (in wages, safer work environments, work hours, benefits, etc.). This begins with education, mounting pressure for membership involvement in union decisions, and access to the contracts and legislation that directly impact the lives of theater stage managers and actors.
We want to hear from you and get to know you. Please use the contact page to drop us a line, introduce yourself, and tell us more about what you want to see change within our union or while working AEA contracts, and how we can help you advocate for yourself. Note: for urgent matters, please contact your business representative or Equity staff or councilors directly.
We want to hear from you and get to know you.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to drop us a line, introduce yourself, and tell us more about what you want to see change within our union or while working AEA contracts, and how we can advocate for you.