The Special Appearance Agreement was created as a way for Equity members to work with their local small community theatre groups, in areas beyond major market cities, on a case-by-case basis. The Agreement provides a service for Equity members to occasionally pursue artistic opportunities outside standard professional situations (hence the term "Special Appearance"); it was not intended to be a means of routine employment. Small theatre companies interested in the routine employment of Equity members should contact an Equity Business Representative to discuss use of a Small Professional Theatre agreement instead or review other contractual options.
WHO MAY USE A SPECIAL APPEARANCE AGREEMENT?
Equity Members in “good standing” (no unresolved membership issues, such as unpaid dues or fines) may seek to work with theatre companies falling within the following seating, income and schedule limitations:
- Theatres of 99 seats or less with a total potential weekly box office gross income of $10,000 or less, scheduling no more than 4 performances per week
- Theatres of 199 seats or less with a total potential weekly box office gross income of $25,000 or less, scheduling no more than 5 performances per week
As long as the theatre company falls within these limitations and can satisfy prepayment and insurance coverage requirements, any theatre company may apply.
HOW MANY EQUITY MEMBERS CAN BE EMPLOYED USING A SPECIAL APPEARANCE AGREEMENT WITHIN THE SAME PRODUCTION?
A theatre company may apply on behalf of up to three (3) Equity members for permission to use the Special Appearance Agreement. A theatre company may request permission to apply on behalf of more than three Equity members for permissions, but such applications must include an Equity Stage Manager.
The appropriate Equity regional office must receive applications no later than three (3) weeks prior to the date of first rehearsal. It may take up to four (4) weeks to review applications after they are received, then possibly as long as another month to receive required payments and exchange contracts as described within these Guidelines. As processing largely depends on prompt receipt of required payments, please allow sufficient lead-time.
Please be advised that applications received less than three (3) weeks prior to the date of first rehearsal may be denied. In the event that a last-minute application is accepted, any necessary subsequent express delivery charges (e.g. USPS Express Mail, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne, etc.) must be prepaid by the theatre company.
The application includes a line-by-line application guide. Additional information including work rules are available from the nearest regional Equity office.