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    Posted February 1, 2008

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Houston/Galveston Annual Meeting

Western Regional Director Susan Wallace Attends Houston/Galveston Annual Meeting

Two Selected for Liaison Committee

The Houston/Galveston annual membership meeting was held on January 12, 2008 at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. Attending the reception prior to the meeting were representatives from the Alley, Theatre Under the Stars, Stages Repertory Theatre and A.D. Players.

Houston/Galveston Liaison, David Grant, opened the meeting by introducing special guest, new Equity Western Regional Director, Susan Wallace. Mr. Grant discussed the recent Expanded Regional Board Meetings, noting that these precedent-setting meetings were a great step toward improving communications between Equity and members from Liaison cities.

He also reported on the local Liaison Committee's three-year old Ambassador Program that provides a link between the producers of 25 of the area's top theatres and members of the Committee, and he stressed the value of the program's Equity Resource Guide, which is available to all local members.

Before turning the meeting over to Ms. Wallace, Mr. Grant spoke briefly about the disappointing decline in the ratio of local contracts versus out-of-state contracts, a trend that eroded even further in 2007.

Ms. Wallace also spoke about the Expanded Regional Meetings, calling them a great "listening experience" for Equity leadership in the three office cities. She identified many topics that came up during the meetings, including local hiring concerns and the proliferation of non-union actors coming out of the numerous theatre programs across the country.

After fielding questions from the membership, Ms. Wallace facilitated the election of new Committee members, with two new members being added to the Committee: Traci Shannon and Cynthia Brown. Mr. Grant then told the group that although he was renewing his commitment for another term on the Committee, he had decided to step down as Chair and Bill Hardy had volunteered to serve as the new Liaison Chair.

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