IT'S EASIER THAN EVER TO JOIN EQUITY!
And it’s more important than ever for actors and stage managers to stand together in solidarity to make theatre a safer, more equitable industry. Are you ready to become a union member? Begin the process by completing a joining questionnaire here.
WHAT IS OPEN ACCESS?
Put simply, Equity membership is now open to any stage manager or actor who has worked professionally on a theatre production in the United States. We’ve also made it easier for former Equity members to rejoin the union.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- You are eligible to join Equity if you have been paid to work as an actor or stage manager in theatre in the United States.
- You must be done with all non-union contracts at Equity Theatres and non-Equity theatres.
- You must be prepared to pay the first $600 of the $1800 initiation fee when your membership application is accepted.
If you are an EMC or a former member, or if you have previously worked on an Equity Contracts, we may already have the information needed to confirm your eligibility to join Equity. Otherwise, if you have worked professionally, in theatre, as an actor or stage manager in the United States, you will need to provide proof of that work and proof of payment for that work (e.g. pay stub, W2, 1099, etc.). You will need to submit an application and a $600 down payment toward the initiation fee.
Learn more about Dues & Fees.
All members will have up to three years to pay off their initiation fee.
Why should I become a member of Equity?
Actors and stage managers are workers, and unions like Equity provide important workplace protections for workers. As a union member, you will have the strength of more than 51,000 fellow members standing beside you, as well as a professional staff enforcing your contracts. This means fair pay, safer workplaces and the opportunity to make a real living in the theatre. Equity also provides a wide range of benefits that enhance both the professional and personal lives of members, from negotiated minimum salaries to a pension plan and supplemental workers’ compensation. Learn more.
How much does it cost to join the union?
Initiation fees are currently $1800, which can be paid over the three years following application. Once you become a member, you will pay annual dues in May and November, as well as working dues (a percentage of your paycheck) that help Equity function and serve its members. Learn more about Dues & Fees.
I’m an EMC. Can I join now?
EMCs are welcome to join Equity when they are finished with all non-Equity contracts. Any fees they have paid to the union will go towards the initiation fee.
I'd love to join, but I have a non-union job booked. Can I still join?
You must complete any non-union theatrical acting or stage managing jobs before joining the union, but once your gig is over, you can join!
I used to be a member, and my membership lapsed. Can I rejoin under this program?
Any former member can rejoin through Open Access, with the exception of those who left Equity and then worked on a non-union production.
What if I am not a citizen, or currently living abroad?
As long as you have worked professionally as an actor or stage manager in a theatrical production in the United States, you are eligible for membership, regardless of residence, country of origin or citizenship status.
How is Equity going to organize more work to handle an influx of union members?
It's an important question, given that there is always going to be a larger number of actors and stage managers than available theatre jobs. Equity's vehicle to address this is through organizing, one of the core functions of the union.
Equity continually organizes new employment by offering a variety of agreements for theatres of all sizes, and Equity's Organizing Committee recommends organizing strategies. Every year, more theatres become "Equity theaters" - even during the pandemic! A main reason theatres make that commitment is in order to hire Equity actors and stage managers. So every new member is another incentive for theatres to sign on to an Equity agreement. And you can help: many members continue to work at non-union theatres on union contracts such as Special Appearance and Guest Artist Agreements. Equity has tools available in the member portal to help members introduce theatre companies to these agreements.
What if I have other questions that aren’t listed here?
If you have any other questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.