Co-op Philosophy

“Thirty years ago, I became a member of Actor’s Equity. Gaining that Union card meant a lot to me. Now I could say that I was a professional actor. I was even paying dues. The drawback was that I lived in Atlanta and opportunities to act were pretty much restricted to the Alliance Theatre. They hired only a few locals, mostly actors from New York. Out of frustration, I met with four other actors who decided to unite and “change the culture.” We were tired of waiting for someone else to decide our fate. We wanted the power to determine our own future. We formed the nucleus of a Co-op movement. Our goal was to compete with the Alliance Theatre head on, show for show and illustrate once and for all that Atlanta actors were every bit as good as New York actors, and to develop our own fan base in the city. A bit ambitious, but we were determined.  Three months later, our first play opened at Emory University to glowing reviews. Two years later, all five of the original members of the Co-op were working on the big stage at the Alliance. We witnessed the strength of unity and the benefits of artistically empowerment. The essence of the Screen Artists Co-op is providing artists an outlet to determine their own future and to chart our own course.”

-Jon Menick

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