Claire Karpen

Eastern Principal Councilor

I’m a founding member of #FairWageOnstage, the grassroots movement that demanded an end to decades of stagnation, and gave Equity critical leverage last fall in securing wage increases of up to 83% Off-Broadway. Now our #FairWageOnCouncil slate is running to ensure FAIR WAGES, INCLUSION, PARTICIPATION, and ENGAGEMENT for actors and stage managers nationwide.

Since joining Equity, I have noticed a consistent truth: stage managers and actors are incredibly hard workers with great skill and resilience; and we are grossly undervalued.

I am tired of watching us work so hard only to run post-show to a double-shift at a bar or spend days off teaching instead of with our families; of investing so much in projects that move on without us; of saying “yes” to inappropriate demands because we just feel lucky to have the job. Exposure doesn’t buy groceries, networking doesn’t pay bills, and being grateful to be in the room where it happens does not make it okay to be taken advantage of.

It is time to re-prioritize the artist. Thanks already to your hard work and courage, #FWOS was able to organize, inform and engage members to empower the Union to achieve real change that does just that.

As a member of the #FairWageOnCouncil slate, I’m eager to build on this momentum so we can:

  • Increase access and jobs
  • Negotiate better contracts with fairer wages, compensation and protections
  • Inform you of your rights and better enforce consequences; let’s keep the drama between characters, not colleagues.
  • Listen and respond to your needs, as they evolve

What do you need to do your best work? Vote #FWOC and we will work hard to get it done. You’re worth it.