Kate Shindle in her dressing room for "Wonderland."

Kate Shindle Is Actors Equity’s New President, Along With Slate of New Officers

A New York actor who has stayed on top of L.A.’s 99-Seat controversy wins the top office.

NEW YORK CITY: Kate Shindle, a Broadway performer (and 1998 Miss America), has been elected the new president of Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union of U.S. stage actors and stage managers. Shindle, whose credits include Legally BlondeWonderland and Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter, ran against fellow actors Nick Wyman, the incumbent president, and Larry Cahn in a unionwide election. Though Shindle is based on the East Coast, a contentious debate over changes to L.A.’s Equity 99-Seat Agreement heavily influenced the vote outcome all down the ticket.

Equity represents some 50,000 theatre industry professionals. Eight new officers were elected in the 2015 elections, and 16 council seats were filled on the union’s national council, the governing and policy-making body of the union.

The complete results of the 2015 election follow:

President: Kate Shindle

First Vice President: Paige Price

Second Vice President: Rebecca Kim Jordan

Third Vice President: Ira Mont

Secretary/Treasurer: Sandra Karas

Easter Region Vice President: Melissa Robinette

Central Region Vice President: Dev Kennedy

Western Regional Vice President: Doug Carfrae

Eastern Region Councillors: Dana Ivey, Maureen Moore, Judy Rice, Kristine Nevens, Tonya Pinkins, Kate O’Phalen, Sid Solomon, Joanne Borts, Ruth E. Kramer, Amber White, Bill Bateman

Central Region Councillors: Ariane Dolan, Malcolm D. Ewen

Western Region Councillors: Mary-Pat Green, Jeff Marlow, Barbara N. Roberts

  • Paige Price

    Seriously, William Lewis Saylers, you “put” Shindle in office?! She’s had a career in NYC for decades, I wouldn’t be so quick to congratulate yourself.

    • William Lewis Salyers

      Yes, Ms. Price, and you know we did. Ms. Shindle is intelligent, capable, and wise enough to listen to the west coast community. While Nick Wyman patted us on the head and said “We know what’s best for you,” she, instead, said “Talk to me.”
      Kate was a success long before she was AEA President, but she took that office because of Pro99. And since you’ve now decided to chat with me again, may I add that, with 7,000 of us here, and your continued support of the paternalistic, condescending attitude AEA has taken towards us, you were fortunate to run unopposed.
      We’re angry, we’re organized, and there are more elections coming. We will continue to reshape AEA until such time as it becomes a body capable of coming out from behind its east coast arrogance and treating us with respect.

      • Paige Price

        So, upon reflection these last four days or so, I think I’m going to have to reverse my position. I believe you are right, that the situation in Los Angeles did, in fact, help Kate win the election, but my first post was meant mainly to speak to her inherent qualifications. Probably a touch of bad sportsmanship, if I’m honest. So I respectfully retract that comment and apologize. I have stated elsewhere and will state again, that I think our communications infrastructure is not built to adequately, and in a timely enough manner, respond to what occurred with the 99-Seat situation – hopefully, improvements are coming, as we move forward. I do NOT harbor a paternalistic, condescending attitude toward “you” – the makeup of the Pro99 supporters is vast and varied and I have had a number of fantastic conversations with some of the leaders of Pro99; respectful, curious discourse. One of them was with Jeff Marlow, so I’m eager for those kinds of conversations to continue, and glad he will have the opportunity to represent one of LA’s viewpoints in the board room.

        • William Lewis Salyers

          Thank you for your clarification and change of tone. Speaking only for myself: apology accepted.
          Whatever the original intention, I think both sides can agree that much trust has been lost, and many of us feel trepidation about what is to come.
          I will always wonder what percentage of LA members made up the initially cited “silent majority” that AEA was supposedly responding to. It seems obvious in the wake of the referendum vote and the national elections that there never was such a “majority.” Likewise, labor laws could not have been responsible for AEA’s initial approach, since there has been, in every iteration of the proposals, some provision for volunteering. I honestly remain baffled by the entire thing.
          I don’t like being at odds with my union. My sincere hope is that the proposals can be walked back, or preferably, annulled altogether, and union and community can come together to fashion something that addresses everyone’s concerns. Perhaps, with new blood in leadership, such a thing will be possible.
          Please enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend, Ms. Price.

    • Kelley Faulkner

      Ms. Price, I am continually dismayed at the snippy tone of you, our 1st VP. I hope that Ms. Shindle makes good on her word to do a MAJOR overhaul of how leadership communicates both on social media and in person.

      • William Lewis Salyers

        Heck,I don’t mind. Better to know what they’re really thinking.
        “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”

        • Kelley Faulkner

          I’m honestly just embarrassed at this point. We are a national labor union of 50,000+ members, not the high school drama club.

  • elanda2000

    Los Angeles represents a significant voting bloc. It made a difference in this election and will make a difference in future elections. This constituency is active and engaged.

  • William Lewis Salyers

    Yes, we in LA put President Shindle in office. Actors Equity has treated its LA members with condescension at best, contempt at worst. There are 8,000 of us, more than in any city in the country except New York. If AEA wants to remake our theatre without our input, we will remake AEA.

  • GM52246

    Congratulations to Ms. Shindle. Any idea where she stands? More specifically, given the L.A. branch of equity actors’ overwhelming (but sadly non-binding) vote against the new plan, is there a chance the new plan could be overturned and a better plan could be drafted with the actual input of L.A. equity actors?