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June 23, 2005

Two AEA Family Members Win Union Plus Scholarships

(June 23, 2005) Samuel Daly and Joren Wendschuh, children of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) members, have been selected to receive 2005 Union Plus scholarship awards.

Daly, son of Jonathan Gillard Daly and Gale Fury Childs of Milwaukee, WI, and Wendschuh, son of Ronald and Jean Wendschuh of Redding, CT, are among 120 students from 40 AFL-CIO unions who have been awarded $150,000 in scholarships from the Union Plus Scholarship program. Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship program has awarded more than $2 million to Union members or members of their families who want to begin or continue their secondary education. More than 1,300 families have benfited from the program.

Joren Wendschuh

Joren plans to attend University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the Fall of 2005. During his four years at Joel Barlow High School, he worked as a technician in the Audio Visual (AV) department, and started doing sound and backstage work for theatre productions when he was asked to fill in for a student who was ill. His teachers describe him as a “tremendous asset” to the school’s Theater Program.

Joren originally thought he’d enter the acting profession like his father, who in addition to Actors’ Equity, is a member of SAG and AFTRA. In the required scholarship application essay, Joren wrote that when his father began his acting career, “all of his early jobs were non-union.” He described his father’s first hand experience of producers who did not meet their contractual obligations, of casts who didn’t get paid for their work, and of poor working conditions. His father has “urged him to join a union in order to benefit from the protection union members currently have.” Taking his father’s advice to heart, one of his goals is to become a member of one of IATSE’s stage hand locals. One of his other goals is to establish his own sound and lighting company to service regional theater and music venues.

Samuel Daly

Samuel Daly hopes to attend Columbia University in the Fall of 2005. He was an honors student at Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School where he held positions as Captain of the Forensics and Debate team. Samuel also acted and was a student director in his school theater, in addition to working as an Assistant House Manager at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Samuel’s goal is to enter the field of education in anthropology, linguistics, or international studies.

Both of Samuel’s parents are long-time Equity members and having them be a part of the Union played an important role in his life. In his essay he wrote that “there is no doubt in my mind that without the Union acting would not be a viable profession for many people,” and that he “is grateful to AEA for allowing his family to live with dignity.” He describes how the labor movement “liberated people like his parents from oppression in the workplace,” and how it provided them with a strong, supportive social network.

Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship awards have been presented annually, awarding more than $2 million to union members or members of their families who want to begin or continue their secondary education. More than 1,300 families have benefited from the program, which is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation with funding provided by HSBC. Leslie Tolf, President of Union Plus, states that they are “keenly aware that their members and their families are faced with expanding financial challenges and the rising costs of higher education.” The Foundation and HSBC sponsor the Union Plus Scholorship program to “help men and women in the labor movement realize their dreams for a higher education.” For more information about the scholarship, visit

Founded in 1913, Equity represents more than 45,000 stage actors and stage managers and seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.

Press Contact:
David Lotz / National Communications Director
Maria Somma / Spokesperson

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