By Robert Simonson
13 Oct 2012
By the early 1960s the press took notice, and by the end of the decade, theatres started to send shows to New York. Arena's The Great White Hope was one of the first. Eventually, such transfers became common. As a result, many companies became torn between the desire to stay true to their local roots and the desire to build their national profile.
Through the journey, Equity has collectively bargained with theatres, endeavoring to strike a balance between protecting actors and fostering creative growth. Fichandler remembers the union getting wind of what Arena was doing and sending down a representative. She recalls, "A man came down and said, 'You guys are doing good work. I think you really should belong to Equity, and we'll help you do that.' I must say, when I came to Washington, I did break rules. I think it was terribly important that Equity was watching everyone."
Equity is engaged in a yearlong centennial celebration of its birth and legacy. Every month, Playbill magazine is featuring a new story about AEA and its history in the theatre. This feature appears in the October 2012 issue of Playbill.
Longtime Lion King actress Jean Michelle Grier shares insight into an actor's career as part of Playbill's continuing look at Equity.