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Actors Rights in Auditions – 6 Guidelines

It’s important that we all remember that as actors and working professionals we have  the right to expect a safe experience and room when we audition. We at Acting Studio Chicago want to make sure that new actors understand what they should expect in these situations.

1 First and foremost, “actors’ rights” mean that all actors should feel safe when auditioning and rehearsing. If at any time during the process you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, it is your right to speak up and let the director/stage manager know. Under no circumstances should you ever be required to perform intimacy or combat during an audition (unless there is an intimacy/combat designer present). All physical contact between actors must be consensual and no actors should feel pressured to perform either of these tasks during an audition.

2  Actors’ rights mean that nudity should never be a part of an audition. If there is nudity or partial nudity in the play, you have every right to ask the context and to get as much information as you can about the requirement.

3 Never pay to audition for a show. If you are required to make payment to audition, run quickly away.

Recording your audition should always be specified in the audition notice (this pertains to non-equity theatre and is a suggested standard)  and a written agreement should be signed agreeing to destroy the audition tape after it’s initial use

5 Under no circumstances should you feel that you must tolerate inappropriate remarks or jokes about ANYTHING. This includes comments about race, gender, sexual orientation, body type, marital status, religion, etc.

6 Do not feel that you have to answer questions about your personal life.

The Not In Our House movement in Chicago has been incredibly important for the Chicago theatre community and one that pays attention to actors’ rights.  Started by Lori Meyers and Laura T. Fisher, the effort is to create a safe environment and to set a list of Chicago theatre standards for non-equity theatres. The documents and suggested standards were created by collaborating with many theatre professionals, actors and designers within the Chicago theatre community. We suggest that before you commit to a show that you ask the theatre company if they follow the Standards suggested on the Not In Our House website. We encourage you to take a look at The Not In Our House website  and review the materials there. As you will find, there are Standards of practice and sample agreements that many non-equity theatres incorporate into their seasons.

Not In Our House


Remember, you have a right to be safe. You have a right to ask questions. You have a right to feel comfortable in the process.

There have also been several articles written about the #NotInOurHouse movement.

American Theatre Logo  American Theatre Magazine

 Broadway World

Actors Rights   WTTW Chicago PBS

If you ever have any questions about audition notices or you need some personalized advice in regards to an audition please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help.