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Contracts and Codes

Contracts: Equity negotiates and administers more than 30 national and regional contracts with theatrical employers. These agreements provide minimum salaries, benefits, job security and numerous other protections to ensure a safe and dignified work environment.

Equity contracts cover jobs in three categories: Principal, Chorus and Stage Manager. The Principal contract (sometimes referred to as a “white” contract”) is used for all principal actors and most stage managers. The Chorus contract (sometimes referred to as the “pink” contract) is used for those actors who are primarily performing chorus work. Each individual employment contract is referenced to a specific rulebook and incorporates all of its terms.

Codes or Plans: Unlike standard Equity contracts, Equity codes or plans are designed primarily to provide a theatrical environment where members may hone their skills and “showcase” themselves in the hope of securing future employment. There are no minimum salaries, however, Actors are entitled to out-of-pocket travel expenses. There is no obligation to remain in a production and none of the regular benefits or protections of standard agreements apply.

You should always file a copy of your employment contract with Equity, no later than first rehearsal. Many departments depend upon your employment contract, including Bonding, Membership and the Health and Pension Trust Funds.

Note: it is a violation of Equity rules to work without signing the appropriate Equity contract or code.


For an overview of agreements, codes, minimum salaries/rates, and rulebooks, use the drop down menu below:

For more infomation about Contracts and Codes visit FAQs.

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