Identity Statement for Irish Actors' Equity Association

  • Reference code: IE UCDA TU12
  • Title: Records of the Irish Actors' Equity Association
  • Dates: 1941-1978
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 39 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Institutional History

The Writers', Actors', Artists' and Musicians' Association (WAAMA) was the predecessor to the Irish Actors' Equity Association. The WAAMA represented the various cultural fields but by the 1940's its activities had contracted to the extent that it was operating exclusively on behalf of actors. This suggested the necessity for reorganisation and redirection. Among the options discussed at this time were amalgamation with the British Equity which had opened a Northern Ireland branch in April 1948, amalgamation with the Variety Artists' Federation or with the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU). Despite these options at a general meeting in January 1949 members concerned themselves with reorganisation, adopting the name Irish Actors' Equity Association, a new constitution and set of rules. 

Initial discussion of draft rules focused upon eligibility for membership of an association for those who were professionally involved in all aspects of acting and production. From the beginning, Equity was not restricted to theatrical production and became more involved with the organisation of performers in all the performing arts; TV, variety and cabaret, ballet and advertising.

Equity was involved and cooperated with other national performers unions, especially the International Federation of Actors (Federation Internationale des Acteurs). An executive committee member of the IFA, Equity hosted a symposium on 'The theatre and the actor in society' in Dublin in 1969.

Archival History

This collection was deposited in UCD Archives in April 1980.

Scope and Content

Organisation and Administration (1941 - 1977): constitution, rules, minutes, annual reports, advertising.

Theatre (1950 - 1975): National Theatre Society Ltd., Abbey Theatre, Catholic Stage Guild of Ireland, Irish Hierarchy, Dublin Theatre Festival Ltd., Imprimatur Productions, Irish Theatre Company, theatres in Castlebar and Galway.

Ardmore Studios, RTE, variety artists, Irish Ballet Company, Irish Federation of Musicians and Associated Professions, British Actors Equity Association, International Federation of Actors.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in original format. Original material will be retrieved at 11am and 2pm only. 
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue
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