Actors’ Equity Association

The Actors’ Equity Association, also known as Actors’ Equity or Equity, is an American union representing those who work in live theatre. As of 2010, Equity represented over 49,000 theatre artists and stage managers.

Equity aims to negotiate and provide performers and stage managers quality living conditions, liveable wages, and benefits.

There are three ways to become a member of Equity

  • Through an Equity contract
  • EMC points
  • Through a a sister union

If you are offered a position under an Equity contract you may join during the term of your contract. Alternatively, you can become a member by generating a number of Equity Membership Candidacy Points (EMC). Actors do this by securing a position at an EMC-participating theatre and then registering as a candidate for Equity. For every week they work at a participating theatre, they accrue a point. Performers are required to earn a minimum of 25 weeks of EMC work along with a $400 initial payment in order to become an official Equity member.

A production that is not produced and performed by personnel who are members of the AEA is often known as “Non-Equity”.

Equity also formed the charity, Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS, which raises funds for HIV/AIDS-related causes across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, over $300million has been raised. Waitress has supported Broadway Cares with red bucket collections post-show, and with fundraising auctions each April, as well as recording songs at Christmas for their fundraising CD compilations. Waitress also partook in the Cocktails on Broadway series, at the Lambs Club, on 3 October 2019, raising funds for Broadway Cares.