New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, celebrates its sixth annual Swing Day today, Wednesday, January 27, 2021, honoring the hard-working performers who stay ready to go on at a moment’s notice, for multiple roles.
A swing is a member of the ensemble who learns multiple parts, or tracks, and is on standby to cover for multiple members of the chorus. Depending on the needs of a production, a swing could go on for any number of tracks, including those written for other genders, ages, or even more than one track at once. A swing may only learn they are going on moments before a performance begins, or even in the middle of a show!
Equity will spread awareness across social media about these actors who stay ready in support of the rest of the cast. In particular, the union will post videos from swings who have worked all around the country sharing their experiences. These performers will also shine a light on the ongoing health crisis arts workers are facing in the wake of COVID-19's impact on theatre.
Equity also invites anyone who has worked as a swing to chime in on social media with their favorite swing memory using the hashtags #EquityTeamSwing, #SwingDay or #SwingDay2021.
“Theatre won’t be able to return without swings,” said Jennifer Cody, Actors' Equity Association's second vice president and chair of the Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA). “If any year has taught us the importance of taking care of one another, it’s this year. Swings make it possible for other actors to take a day off when they need to, protecting the health of the whole company. They are the unsung heroes of the show.”
"How do swings do it? To know multiple parts and do them all with such accuracy," said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors' Equity Association. "Swings are wicked smart, wildly talented and brave! Happy Swing day! We see you and have so much appreciation for you and your contributions to every show you are in."
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its Members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
January 27, 2021