Striking actors parade through Columbus Circle in the rain on Aug. 18, 1919. (Photo courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association)



The Lambs, America’s first professional theater club and the oldest professional theatrical organization in the US, marks the 100th Anniversary of the Actors’ Strike of 1919. A century ago this month the biggest story in show business was unfolding, an event with repercussions that are still felt today. This was the Actors Strike of 1919, a labor action that closed Broadway for a month and gave stage actors a standard contract. At the center of this activity were The Lambs–on both sides of the strike–who would ultimately negotiate its successful conclusion and win lasting rights for actors. At the time The Lambs was just 45 years old with perhaps 2,000 members, more than the fledgling Actors Equity Association which launched in 1913.


Of the 21 original Equity council members elected, only one actor was not a Lamb. The Lambs will be marking the Strike and its central role with daily postings on Twitter (@TheLambsInc) and Instagram (TheLambsInc), and has posted a story on its web site at: and will use hashtags #1919ActorsStrike. Lambs have been involved in the formation of The Actors’ Fund of America, ASCAP, Actors’ Equity, Paramount Pictures, Screen Actors Guild and, most recently, in the merger that created SAG-AFTRA . The Lambs has resided at 3 West 51st Street for 43 years.