Brooke Shields Is Running for President of Actors’ Equity Association

By Chanak Maduranga

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Brooke Shields Is Running for President of Actors’ Equity Association

Brooke Shields is running for president of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union that represents about 51,000 actors and stage managers on Broadway and nationwide.

In a video announcement, Shields said she felt compelled to run after learning that Kate Shindle, the current president who has served in the position since 2015 was not going to seek re-election after her term ends May 23.  A spokesperson for Actors’ Equity confirmed her candidacy.

“I felt it was my responsibility to step up. I want to lead with strength. I want to lead with intelligence, with compassion, with passion, and of course a little bit of humor, always. I have been in the trenches with you, and you have always had my back, and I’m here to tell you that I have your back,” Shields said in the video

In addition to her work onscreen and as a model, Shields has five Broadway credits as a replacement star, which include playing Morticia Addams during the run of The Addams Family in 2011, as Sally Bowles in 2001 during the run of Cabaret, and as Roxie Hart in Chicago in 2005. Her first role was as Betty Rizzo in Grease in 1994. 

As president, Shields said she would strive to use both what she learned on Broadway and her own star power to speak up and create change within the community and nationwide. 

“I want Equity to be in the position to command the respect that we deserve, whether it’s at the bargaining table or in DC or in every state house and city hall across the country, where we want to lobby for arts funding. I want to use all of the goodwill, and the advantages that I have built up in my career over the years, to be able to grow the value of being an Equity member,” she continued. 

Shields is running against two other candidates for Equity presidency, Wydetta Carter, an actor who is currently serving as Equity’s first vice president, and Erin Maureen Koster, a stage manager and third vice president at Actors’ Equity.

The position requires negotiating union contracts for Broadway, touring theater and other professional theaters across the country, and leading the unionizing efforts of other groups, such as performers at Disneyland. The demands of the position have increased coming out of the pandemic, as Equity members have been pushing for higher wages and greater understudy coverage, amid escalating costs to produce theater. As Shields noted, in light of the increased costs, theaters across the country have also been pushing for greater arts funding. 

News of her candidacy was first announced by the industry publication The Broadway Journal

In addition to her experience on Broadway, Shields pointed to her experience lobbying Capitol Hill as a parent, as well as what she’s accomplished across her life and career.

“I have spent my entire life in the spotlight,” she said. “And I know what it’s like to be continuously learning. And I’ve managed my very extensive career. I have raised a family. I’ve been part of public advocacy. I had to become the CEO of my own brand.”

Shields continued, “I’ve never shied away from practically anything and I will work as hard as I possibly can, using the strength that I now know I have. And I have a great deal to offer.”

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

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