During the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of all involved, Equity is allowing employers to request video audition submissions from our members in place of holding in-person Equity auditions for principal roles and chorus parts. Non-musical real-time virtual Equity auditions may also be held for principal roles. In-person Equity auditions will resume when it is deemed safe to do so.

EQUITY AUDITIONS FOR PRINCIPAL ROLES (in place of EPAs)

A) Employers may solicit video audition submissions in lieu of holding their required Equity auditions for principal roles with the following provisions:

  • Employers will submit a notice requesting video audition submissions for posting on Equity’s Casting Call website. The notice shall be received by Equity by the deadline for casting notice submission in the employer’s agreement (e.g., if the agreement requires casting notices to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the audition date, the request for video submissions should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the deadline for members to submit their auditions).

  • Video audition submissions will be viewed only by those who meet the casting personnel requirements of the employer’s agreement. Once submissions have been viewed and actors are selected for callbacks, video audition submissions will be destroyed.

  • Video audition submissions are to be used for casting purposes only and will not be utilized or distributed for any other purpose.

  • Employers will offer callbacks to at least five self-submitted Equity members or one self-submitted member per available role, whichever is greater. If the employer will cast the show(s) entirely through electronic means, these callbacks may also be held electronically. If the employer will hold live in-person callbacks, they must invite the members who submitted video auditions to in-person callbacks as well. (Guidelines for in-person callbacks may be found at https://actorsequity.org/resources/Producers/covid19-info/.)

  • Casting notices asking members to sing will include a link to a one-minute (or longer) cut of accompaniment for each vocal part (low, middle, and high), as well as sheet music with lyrics. The accompaniment may be from a show (or shows) they are auditioning, from a show with a similar sound/feel, or from the public domain. Employers may EITHER ask all members auditioning to use the provided accompaniment to record their audition OR they may give members the option to use the provided accompaniment or to audition with a song of their choosing (for which they will provide their own accompaniment).

  • Employers shall provide a way for members to submit their audition without paying any fee or providing personal information (beyond an e-mail address) to a third party.

  • Video audition submissions in lieu of in-person Equity auditions for principal roles are being allowed strictly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and should not be seen as precedent setting moving forward.

B) Real-time Virtual Auditions: Employers may hold Equity auditions via Zoom or a similar platform in lieu of holding their required in-person Equity auditions for principal roles in plays with the following provisions:

  • Real-time virtual Equity auditions may not be utilized for auditions requiring members to sing or dance.

  • Employers will submit a notice announcing real-time virtual Equity auditions for posting on Equity’s Casting Call website. The notice shall be received by Equity by the deadline for casting notice submission in the employer’s agreement (e.g., if the agreement requires casting notices to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the audition date, the announcement of real-time virtual Equity auditions should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the audition date). 

  • The number of days of real-time virtual Equity auditions shall mirror the number of days of in-person Equity auditions required in an employer’s agreement (e.g., if an employer’s agreement requires two full days of local seasonal Equity auditions and one full day of seasonal Equity auditions in an Equity office city, that employer will hold three full days of seasonal real-time virtual Equity auditions).

  • Employers will schedule 126 Equity members per full day of real-time virtual Equity auditions or all members who request an appointment, whichever is lower.

  • Appointments for real-time virtual Equity auditions may be scheduled ONLY for Equity members.

  • The employer will provide a monitor in the virtual waiting room or arrange another way to notify members when they are next in line to audition.

  • Real-time virtual Equity auditions may not be recorded.

  • Participation in real-time virtual Equity auditions will not require members to pay any fee or provide personal information (beyond an e-mail address) to a third party.

  • Following the auditions, the employer shall send to Equity a list of members seen during the real-time virtual Equity auditions.

  • Real-time virtual Equity auditions in lieu of in-person Equity auditions for principal roles are being allowed strictly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and should not be seen as precedent setting moving forward. 

EQUITY AUDITIONS FOR CHORUS PARTS (in place of ECCs)

Employers may solicit video audition submissions in lieu of holding their required Equity auditions for chorus parts with the following provisions:

  • Employers will submit a notice requesting video audition submissions for posting on Equity’s Casting Call website. The notice shall be received by Equity by the deadline for casting notice submission in the employer’s agreement (e.g., if the agreement requires casting notices to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the audition date, the request for video submissions should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the deadline for members to submit their auditions).

  • For singers, employers will include a link to an optional 16-bar cut of accompaniment and sheet music with lyrics for members to use when recording their audition.

  • For dancers, employers will include a link to both visual and verbal instruction (with accompaniment) for members to learn and perform the combination(s) requested.

  • Video audition submissions will be seen only by those who meet the casting personnel requirements of the employer’s agreement. Once submissions have been viewed and actors are selected for callbacks, video audition submissions will be destroyed.

  • Video audition submissions are to be used for casting purposes only and will not be utilized or distributed for any other purpose.

  • Employers shall provide a way for members to submit their audition without paying any fee or providing personal information (beyond an e-mail address) to a third party.

  • Video audition submissions in lieu of in-person Equity auditions for chorus parts are being allowed strictly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and should not be seen as precedent setting moving forward. 

Audition/job notices should be submitted by email to the region where your audition/interview will occur. Find your region.

Eastern Region: easternauditions@actorsequity.org

Central Region: centralauditions@actorsequity.org

Western Region: westernauditions@actorsequity.org

CASTING CALL NOTICE GUIDELINES

At Equity, we believe that the key to a great casting or job notice is clear and accurate information. When you provide the right information in your notice, you'll be sure to get more of the appropriate actors at your auditions or stage managers at your interviews. Here are the essentials of an effective Equity notice. Be sure to consult your agreement for more specific requirements.

NOTICE TYPE Equity Principal Auditions (EPAs), Equity Chorus Call (ECC), Stage Manager Job Notice or Photo/Resume Requests (appropriate for non-required auditions only).

EQUITY AGREEMENT under which the production is being produced (e.g. Production Contract, SPT Tier 4, LOA). Please be sure to include your current weekly salary.

DATE(S) AND HOURS for the auditions, including lunch break (e.g. Friday, May 18, 2018, 9:30am – 5:30pm, Lunch 1pm – 2pm)

LOCATION at which the auditions will take place, including any special information a performer might need to find the location (e.g. Scenic Playhouse, Huge Multi-tenant Building, 123 Stage Door Road, Anywhere, US. Enter through the stage door, opposite the library. Anywhere is 4 miles east of Somewhere, CA on US Rte 457.) 

NAMES OF PERSONNEL involved in the production (Author(s), Producer, Artistic Director, Stage Director, Musical Director, Choreographer, etc.) If your agreement requires that you include the name(s) and title(s) of the casting personnel expected to attend your audition, note that here as well.

DATES of the first rehearsal, first preview (if applicable), official opening and closing. If the production plays an unusual schedule (e.g. weekends only or three shows per day), or if your agreement requires you to list your performance schedule, please include this information as well.

APPOINTMENTS When holding EPAs or ECCs in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, those cities' audition procedures must be observed. (EPA procedures | ECC procedures) Outside these metro areas, some theatres prefer to conduct auditions by appointment or on a first-come, first-served basis. If you choose to hold your auditions by appointment, please consult Equity Audition Appointment Procedures to ensure that every Equity member has an equal opportunity to audition for you.

TYPE OF PERFORMERS being sought (e.g. Equity male and female actors or Equity/non-Equity singers who dance)

PREPARATION necessary for the audition (e.g. "Please prepare a brief classical comedic monologue." or "Please prepare a brief contemporary musical theatre song. Bring sheet music in your key." or "Sides will be provided.") We recommend reminding performers to bring a picture/resume stapled together.

OTHER INFORMATION our members might like to know, like your company's web address or casting philosophy.

CAST BREAKDOWN AND DESCRIPTION that meets your agreement's requirements. Some Equity agreements require complete role descriptions for all productions; others require only a list of available roles, or full descriptions for new plays/musicals only. The more complete information you provide, the better our members are able to "type themselves" prior to attending your auditions. Don't hesitate to give more information rather than less.

Please remember also to ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION BY PERFORMERS OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES and, when required by your company's agreement, to identify roles that present opportunities for non-traditional or diverse and inclusive casting in your notices.