In accordance with Equity's constitution, the National Council is Equity's ultimate decision-making body, particularly regarding policy, finance and appeals. It also has the authority to adopt rules supplementing the constitution and by-laws. Significant policy issues and major topics of concern or controversy are vigorously debated at scheduled special orders of business. The Council defines the authority and duties and oversees the actions of regional boards and committees.
The Council is comprised of eight officers and 75 councilors. Council seats are distributed among Equity's three geographic regions (Eastern, Central, Western) determined by the proportion of members within the region, and by the percentage of those working under Equity's principal, chorus, and stage manager categories. Nine at-large councilor seats are apportioned relative to the number of members in good standing in each region, and these seats are filled by members who live outside of the greater New York, Los Angeles and Chicago metropolitan areas. 50% of Council is elected every 2 years. Officers and councilors serve 4-year terms. All officers and councilors are volunteers who receive no compensation for their many hours of service. Council meets by video and telephone conference now. You can find the Council Directory here.
In addition to the National Council, there are three regional boards comprised of councilors and officers who reside in each of Equity's geographic regions: the Eastern, Central and Western Regional Boards.
In the Central Region, the board has the option to expand to a maximum of 20 members, by including non-councilor regional board members who reside in the Central Region.
The regional boards meet on a regular basis in each regional area to handle the day-to-day business of the applicable region. These responsibilities include the granting of concessions to agreements, when appropriate, and the approval of existing regional or local agreements.
Paid-up members are welcome to observe Council and regional board meetings, space permitting. Please call your regional office in advance to reserve space. Minutes of meetings are available in any of the regional offices.
Committees are established by the Council and the Boards to discuss, advise and make recommendations on various issues.
All contracts have committees that address the problems and issues which develop within their jurisdiction. In addition, there are many other committees that engage in active debate and deliberation on specific issues and make recommendations to the boards and/or the Council. Some of these are: Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs, Agents Committee, International Actors Committee, National EPA Committee, Stage Managers Committee, Deputy Committee, Media and New Technology Committee, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and Member Education Committee. There are also a few committees whose membership is limited to councilors only, including Executive Committee, House Affairs (finance and budget) Committee and Constitutional Review Committee.
If you are interested in joining a committee contact your regional Equity office. Members can find a list of Equity's committees as well as the committee application form in the Governance section of the member portal.
Beginning in 2021, Actors’ Equity will hold conventions (biennially, after the first two annual conventions) for the purpose of shaping Equity’s national policy. The convention delegates include Equity’s officers and councilors along with 100 elected regional delegates (proportionately representing the three job categories of principal, chorus and stage manager) plus one elected delegate from each of Equity’s liaison areas. The convention’s authority includes adopting resolutions, increasing fees and dues and approving amendments to Equity’s constitution. Elected delegates serve two-year terms.