Carol Waaser to Serve as Acting Executive Director of Actors' Equity

Actors' Equity Association (Equity), which represents more than 49,000 professional stage actors and stage managers nationwide, has announced the appointment of Carol Waaser to serve as Acting Executive Director. Ms. Waaser replaces John Connolly, who has decided not to seek a second contract as Executive Director.

Ms. Waaser, who assumed her new position as of November 23,2009, will direct the collective bargaining process for more than 30 national and regional contracts, oversee the Union's finances and supervise Equity's large professional staff. She will work closely with the Equity Council, the Union's governing body, to implement national policies and build consensus and entertainment industry support on key issues. In addition, Ms. Waaser will serve as spokesperson for Equity with media, labor, employers and government officials.

A member of the Equity staff since 1983, Ms. Waaser most recently served as the Eastern Regional Director (ERD) for twelve years. In that capacity she assisted with the 2008 Production Contract negotiation and was chief negotiator for collective bargaining agreements with Walt Disney World, League of Off Broadway Theaters and oversaw the negotiations of several other contracts. She was involved in dispute resolutions throughout the region. As the ERD, she supervised a staff of 45 in the New York City and Orlando offices. In her tenure with Equity, Ms. Waaser has been a Traveling Business Rep, the Director of Membership Education and Communications, and as a Senior Business Rep, directed organizing efforts for a number of projects.

Prior to joining Equity, Ms. Waaser served as the operations manager for the Chicago City Ballet, acted as a company manager and casting director for a number of theaters and as a stage manager for theater and ballet. Ms. Waaser has B.A. from Wilson College and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.

The Equity Council will announce a search for a new National Executive Director sometime after the first of the year. Ms. Waaser, who was scheduled to retire in February, will remain until a new executive is in place.

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