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Theatre Authority

To Organizations Planning Benefits Or Telethons:

Theatre Authority:
A Sponsor's Guide

For Enlisting The Services Of Professional Performers And Stage Managers

Entertainment can provide extra clout for any fund-raising event, and entertainers, traditionally, have been quick to respond when called upon to help in such fundraising. However, before professional talent and fundraising organizations can get together, Theatre Authority must be contacted.

WHAT IS THEATRE AUTHORITY?
Theatre Authority is a non-profit organization that administers and regulates the free appearances of performers and provides assistance to members of the theatrical community.

WHY IS THEATRE AUTHORITY NECESSARY?
Theatre Authority was founded in 1934 because a group of performers had done benefits and no one knew the name of the charitable organizations involved or how the money would be used. Theatre Authority investigates whether charities are legitimate; protects artists from unfair demands on their time and talents; sets standards, which provide some assurance that a reasonable net profit for the beneficiary can be achieved; and regulates conflict in scheduling local and national telethons. Theatre Authority has also established rules and regulations to insure the performers' comfort, convenience and safety, as well as to protect artists from having their appearances be recorded or reproduced. Finally, Theatre Authority provides a small amount of accident insurance that insures against accidents on the way to, during, and on the way home from a cleared event.

HOW DOES THEATRE AUTHORITY DERIVE ITS "AUTHORITY"?
The unions of the 4A's (Associated Actors and Artistes of America) have adopted resolutions and rules that give Theatre Authority jurisdiction over performances for non-profit and charitable organizations. Theatre Authority determines terms and conditions for the events that it clears. THE RULES OF EACH PERFORMER UNION PROHIBIT MEMBERS FROM APPEARING IN A PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY AT ANY EVENT THAT IS NOT CLEARED AND APPROVED BY THEATRE AUTHORITY.

HOW MAY THEATRE AUTHORITY CLEARANCE BE OBTAINED?
If your organization plans to use professional performers or stage managers in connection with a fund-raising event EAST OF OMAHA, NEBRASKA, please download an application form entitled "Theatre Authority Application." Make sure to include a short note on company letterhead requesting permission for your specific benefit indicating the names of all union performers and partner organizations (if there are any others involved). We request a minimum of 30 days notice, if possible, so that you can receive clearance before you begin publicizing and selling tickets for your benefit. Applications can be submitted by U.S. mail, fax, or email (preferred).

All applications MUST be accompanied by a copy of the 501(c)(3) letter from the IRS for each beneficiary. If the application warrants approval, Theatre Authority will issue formal clearance, which must be signed by a duly authorized representative of the sponsoring organization. Requests and approvals must be in writing for the protection of all parties, and must be received by Theatre Authority prior to the benefit performance. If you are raising money for a third party, please have the beneficiary send a brief note on their letterhead indicating that they are aware of the benefit and any funds that will be raised on their behalf. If you plan a benefit for multiple beneficiaries, please include the percentage breakdown for distribution of funds. If you are fundraising under fiscal sponsorship of an umbrella organization like Fractured Atlas, The Field, or NYFA, please submit a letter from the umbrella organization confirming your organizations status with it.

WHAT DOES THE THEATRE AUTHORITY CLEARANCE AGREEMENT CONTAIN?
It includes specific dates; Time and place for such performances; a requirement for administrative fees based on the number of performances; a contribution to Theatre Authority in lieu of usual fees to union performers and stage managers; prohibition of recording, reproductions or the like; an insurance form listing all performers to be completed and returned to Theatre Authority.

WHO PROVIDES THE TALENT?
Theatre Authority neither recruits performers/stage managers nor guarantees their participation; its function is purely regulatory. It is up to the sponsoring organization to obtain the consent of the performers who may wish to participate on a properly cleared benefit or telethon.

HOW ARE FUNDS RAISED BY THEATRE AUTHORITY USED?
There is an administrative filing fee for every benefit that receives clearance from Theatre Authority. The administrative fees and contributions made by organizations to Theatre Authority on behalf of performers and stage managers who are giving so freely of their time and talents are used solely for the benefit of needy, sick and indigent performers. All monies collected by the Theatre Authority are donated to The Actors' Fund of America. All checks are to be made out to THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA.

HOW DOES ONE CONTACT THEATRE AUTHORITY?

East of Omaha, please contact:

Theatre Authority, Inc.
Attn: Joe Chiplock
c/o Actors' Equity Association
165 West 46th Street
New York NY 10036
Tel. 212.869.8530 ext #354
jchiplock@actorsequity.org

West of Omaha, please contact:

Theatre Authority West
c/o Joe Garber
Actorsí Equity Association
6755 Hollywood Blvd, 5th Floor
Hollywood, CA 90028
jgarber@actorsequity.org
(323) 978-8080


Additional information

Frequently Asked Question (PDF)




 













 
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