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Actors Celebrate Equity Return

PRESS RELEASE – 2 PAGES
23 October 2006 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Actors Celebrate Equity Return

Wellington actors will gather at Downstage Theatre on Sunday (SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2006) to celebrate the rebirth of their union – Equity New Zealand.

New Zealand actors recently voted to join the Australian-based Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) union, who gave financial support to set up an Equity office in Auckland in July this year. At the same time, the Actors’ Benevolent Fund was announced by Sam Neill, who will be a patron of the fund, along with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

On Labour Day, Dame Kate Harcourt announced that Wellington actors will also mark the launch of the revamped union with a party, Acting Up with 42 Below.

“It will be a wonderful party, with free drinks and food, and a real sense of celebration”, she says.

The party will also mark a turning point for the local acting profession. “It is important that we rekindle a sense of pride amongst actors, not just in their profession, but also in membership of their union.” Dame Kate says. She says she is encouraged by the sense of optimism in the acting fraternity, particularly amongst young people. “They understand that in one of the lowest paid industries in the country, it is more important than ever to band together. Our joining together with MEAA can only strengthen our profession here in New Zealand.”

Dame Kate Harcourt is one of a group of Wellington Equity members organising the party, along with Barbara Woods, Susana Lei’ataua, Ben Fransham, Robert Tripe, Rodney Bane, Ken Blackburn, Pinky Agnew, and Lyndee-Jane Rutherford.

Entry is free to actors and performers, whether they are Equity members or not. Cocktails and snacks also provided free of charge. Local success story ‘42 Below’ are supplying drinks, and Wholly Bagels will provide food, and live music will be by Steve Rokosh. Numbers are limited, so RSVPs must be made to teresa.brown[at]alliance.net.nz .

ENDS

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