AEA and IMPROV and Local AEA Meeting

July 22.

1. AEA and IMPROV: Recently there have been several inquiries about Equity Contracts and comedy and/or improvisation. How does AEA deal with that? Second City in Chicago has Equity contracts – does that apply at all to us locally?

Turns out, it’s likely that the comedy/improv group you perform with is outside of Equity’s jurisdiction, which means you wouldn’t need to list "appearing thru courtesy of AEA" in a program (but you COULD certainly list it in your bio), and you don’t need to worry about performing "under the radar.”

Here’s the response from David in Chicago: “We currently do not often pursue improv groups under our umbrella, but we’re certainly open and willing. Second City is unique because they do such a wide mix of improv/theatricals/sketch that they have their own unique agreement. However, if the member is interested in seeking a contract, I’m happy to talk to them.”

So, altho you aren’t breaking any rules to do your comedy/improv, if you ever DO desire to try and work under an Equity contract (with the rules and benefits that go along with it), you can certainly contact Chicago, and they will try and help you negotiate that.

2. AEA Liaison Committee Meeting – open to any/all.

Christine Toy Johnson from the AEA National Council in NY is in town again (working at the Guthrie), and has, once again, agreed to meet with us to discuss all things Equity. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or just want to connect with other AEA members, you are welcome to join us. This is NOT a formal member meeting, but an INFORMAL opportunity to meet one of our National Representatives.

Tues, July 25, 10am, Mixed Blood Theatre.

3. "Business Theatre MOU" (Memorandum of Understanding) - AEA has begun to make this available for actors to use to turn thier corporate theater gigs into work weeks. We are doing some research on this, and will post more detailed info soon.

National Equity News:

You’ve probably gotten the emails about this, but AEA has been in touch with us about a few issues recently. Here’s a review:

1. Equity 2020 is AEA’s vision, based on our feedback, to turn Equity into a more Aggressive, Inclusive and Responsive Union over the next three years. We will see what that means…

2. AEA has launched an *Official* Facebook group for Equity Members! The group is called “Equity’s Stage Door.” The main purpose of this group is to create a community of members to discuss issues, engage in conversation, and find out relevant Union business. This is a community intended only for Equity Members, so entry into the group is monitored.

3. The best way to get answers on individual questions like grievances, contracts and other workplace issues is by calling the appropriate business office during normal business hours. Our business rep is David Kolen in Chicago: 312.641.0393 x236


  1. We got a mention in Equity News for our efforts in April regarding potential cuts to the NEA. April 24: “Twin Cities Liaison Committee sponsors a community discussion to consider action to save the NEA at the NEA funded Mixed Blood Theatre.”
  2. Our AEA SM Subcommittee met again to discuss the upcoming SPT contract negotiations. As the ones “on the ground”, their insight and input is incredibly valuable! Their questions and concerns have been passed along to Chicago. If you are an AEA Stage Manager, or know someone who is, contact us so we can add them to this list of amazing union members!
  3. The Twin Cities Actors Consortium is still in the R and D phase. They are waiting to hear back about a number of potential funders, and then will move ahead with incorporating as a 501c3.


1.  Did you know that, generally, AEA actors have first right to audition slots?! If a theatre says that their audition slots are full, but they have Non-Union or EMC actors signed up, they may have to bump someone so you can be seen.

2. The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps ALL professionals – union AND none, dancers, directors -  in performing arts and entertainment. More about the Actor’s Fund:

3. The Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund reimburses eligible performing arts and entertainment professionals up to $40.00 towards a pair of shoes costing no more than $100.00.

[email protected]

Twin Cities Actors' Equity:

Twitter: @tcaealiaison

Note: This is an unofficial page. As a service, and for informational purposes only, the Twin Cities AEA Liaison Committee provides information that may be of interest to AEA Members. Actors’ Equity Association is not responsible for, and does not monitor, the content or administration of this page. This page, and its content, (including but not limited to factual statements and opinions) are the sole responsibility of their creators, and do not represent, explicitly or implicitly, positions, policies or opinions of Actors’ Equity Association.

Contact information

Twin Cities Actors' Equity Liaison Committee
Greta Grosch, Chair

Posted July 11