Los Angeles–Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has named Alison Harma the new assistant executive director for the union in the Western region, effective December 4.
“Alison has shown herself to be a real leader. Her time as an Equity staff person, as well her career as an Equity stage manager, give her a unique perspective on our industry and the needs of our members,” said Mary McColl, executive director for Actors’ Equity Association. “She is extremely well-equipped to take on this new role and the union and our members will be well served going forward. She’s such a good, strong negotiator. Alison doesn’t give up, and she keeps going back to the table for more for the workers.”
As the assistant executive director based in Los Angeles, she will oversee the union’s operations in 14 states, including collective bargaining, contract administration, and staff management and development. As part of the executive team, she will work alongside the executive director and assistant executive directors in the eastern and central regions to continue to guide reopening live theatre in a way that is safe and fair for all Equity members.
“As a former stage manager and longtime member of Equity, I have witnessed and benefited from the positive impact stage managers and actors can have in their workplace when we come together with shared goals,” said Harma. “I’m thrilled to be moving into this new role for Equity where I will work with members and use our collective strength to increase work opportunities and advocate for fair wages and safe and equitable working conditions.”
Harma first joined the Equity staff in 2012, and she has served as an outside business representative, business representative, in education and outreach, and as auditions representative for the Western region.
As an Equity stage manager, Harma worked around the country and internationally, including stock, regional theatres, Broadway, and national tours. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in theatre/stage management and a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in human resource management with a focus in labor relations.