Actors’ Equity Association and the Professionalization of the Acting Vocation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Actors’ Equity Association has successfully established and maintained its role as the gatekeeper to professional status in the acting profession within the U.S. theatrical industry, through the successful creation of interchangeable organizations across the theatrical sector and by making the industry dependent on Actors’ Equity for the vital resource of acting talent. This chapter will examine Actors’ Equity through the lens of two primary waves of structuration. The first wave focuses on the establishment and growth of the union, the development of the basic structures of the union, the diversification of its base, and the institutionalization of its practices within the field. The second wave of structuration centers on the validation of the profession and the establishment of support structures that shape the contemporary theatrical field and profession. Finally, the duality of structuration will be addressed through an examination of Equity’s goals in combination with external forces which secured the union’s foothold.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfessionalization in the Creative Sector
Subtitle of host publicationPolicy, Collective Action, and Institutionalization
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000988956
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Margaret J. Wyszomirski and WoongJo Chang.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)


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