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June 9, 2005

Equity President Patrick Quinn Honored At Working Theater 20th Anniversary Annual Awards Ceremony

Cited For Contributions To Arts, Labor And Community

President Patrick Quinn accepting his award from Peter Bernstein, member of the Board of Working Theatre and Senior V.P. & Benefit Consultant of the Segal Company (l), and Mark Plesent, Producing Director of Working Theatre (r).

Actors' Equity Association President Patrick Quinn was among the Honorees feted Monday, June 6, 2005 at the Working Theater’s 20th Anniversary Annual Awards Ceremony. Held at the trendy Au Bar in New York City, Quinn, who has served as President for five (5) years, was honored for bridging the gap between the Arts, Labor and the Community. Other Honorees included Esther Cohen, the Executive Director of Bread and Roses; Anthony Watson, Chairman and CEO, Hip Health Plan; and Betsy Gotbaum, Public Advocate for the City of New York.

In presenting the award, Peter Bernstein, a member of the Working Theater’s Board of Directors, called President Quinn “a great labor leader, caring about every issue with heart, intelligence and common sense.” He also said that Quinn epitomizes what the Working Theater stands for – the intersection of art and labor and the community and that “Actors and Stage Managers are true members of the labor movement and they share the very same concerns about health, safety, pension and finding a job as individuals in other unions.” Mr. Bernstein works closely with the Equity-League Trust Funds in his capacity as Senior Vice President/Benefit Consultant with the Segal Company.

In his acceptance speech, President Quinn said he couldn’t remember the flashpoint when his labor activism began, but that he is reminded daily of the “why.” He called Equity, its members and its staff, a “very special family” made all the more important because he “got to choose them…and to grow with them…and to learn from them.” During his tenure as President, Quinn guided the Union through the national trauma of 9/11 and was instrumental in the Union’s contributions to the economic recovery of New York City. He led the Equity membership in a four-day strike on Broadway in support of AFM Local 802 and one year later was part of the negotiation team that concluded a progressive contract for Broadway and Touring productions, preventing a nationwide strike.

On Broadway, Quinn has appeared as Lehman Engel in the Tony Award nominated A CLASS ACT; Uncle Max Detwieler in revival of A SOUND OF MUSIC and as Lumiere in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Other Broadway appearances include: Max in LEND ME A TENOR, Applegate in the revival of DAMN YANKEES and as Perchik in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF with Zero Mostel. He is a trustee of the Actors Fund of America and in 1985, was a co-founder of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and currently serves as that organization’s Vice President. Since 1977, he has been a member of the Council of Actors' Equity Association and served several terms as Vice-President before assuming the position of President in 2000.

Ms. Cohen currently serves as the Executive Director of Bread and Roses, a not-for-profit cultural arm of New York's Health and Human Service Union, 1199/SEIU. The Union’s 220,000 predominantly Latina and African American women members are employed in all job categories in health care institutions throughout the metropolitan area, New Jersey and Florida. Mr. Watson is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HIP Health Plan, a customer-driven, award-winning healthcare company with more than 1.4 million members in the New York metropolitan region, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Since her inauguration as Public Advocate in January 2002, Ms. Gotbaum’s leadership has paved the way for municipal reform in key areas of government. Additionally, each week she helps solve hundreds of city-service complaints made by residents and business owners. She has also distinguished herself as a tireless advocate for parents, children and families.

Since 1985, the Working Theatre, an Equity Theater, has been dedicated to producing culturally diverse plays that explore the lives of working people and the issues they confront in an increasingly complex world. Its mission is to create theatre about and for working people. The Company has garnered widespread recognition and critical acclaim for its writing, acting and directing, including a Drama Desk award for Rob Ackerman's Tabletop, two Drama Desk nominations and two AUDELCO awards for OyamO's Let Me Live, and a prestigious grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays for Michael Henry Brown's Ascension Day. The company has also been recognized for its pioneering efforts in community outreach and audience development.

Also attending the gala were: Equity First VP Mark Zimmerman, Third VP Ira Mont, Eastern Regional VP Arne Gundersen and Councillor Jeanna Belkin; Executive Director Alan Eisenberg; Mary Lou Westerfield, National Director, Policy; Anne Fortuno, Assistant to President Quinn; and consultants Jack Goldstein and Maria Somma.

Media Contacts
David Lotz/Maria Somma
212-869-8530, ext 410

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