Advisor: Dr. Shinwon Noh

Arts & Entertainment Management

Document Type



This thesis surrounds the evolving topic of unionization, particularly within the performing arts industry. As trends and regulations develop that tend away from labor organization, with an increase in non-Equity professional opportunities and the enforcement and growth of legislation such as Janus vs. AFSCME and state-by-state right-to-work laws, unions such as the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) have more reason to market themselves than ever before. This thesis aims to examine the relationship between AEA and young theatre industry entrants, aged 18-25. The study, furthermore, employs an in-depth analysis of the AEA’s social platforms, with particular focus on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as a survey of young industry entrants aged 18-25. The study proceeds to pinpoint four key ways wherein this relationship could be improved, so as to strengthen the relationship with and garner public support from said young industry entrants. These include improved use of hashtags, use of social media to directly engage audiences both on and offline, use of social media to facilitate an open dialogue with young and aspiring theatre professionals, and use of young people’s passion for the theatre to drive results. Overall, the study is meant to serve as a framework for AEA, as well as other performing arts unions, in developing a better relationship with those young people whose livelihoods will be directly or indirectly impacted by the union’s proceedings, and to encourage union membership where applicable.