Use this page to help answer frequently asked questions. Click on the Membership type to sort the FAQs or choose All to view all of the questions.

Frequently Asked

-What is required of Full Members regarding the Special Assessment?
Beginning January 2015, Full Members (both current and new, including Senior Members) will be charged a Special Assessment-Relocation & Technology, which was approved by the Membership at the 2014 Annual Membership Meeting. This $150 assessment will contribute to SDC’s capacity building advancements with the relocation of the offices and an information systems conversion. The Special Assessment will be treated like all SDC dues and assessments in terms of late fees and suspension. The assessment may be paid in $50 increments each year in 2015, 2016, and 2017, or the entire amount may be paid at once. Late fees will be applicable to payments not made by March 31 (of at least $50 of the $150) and failure to make the payment (of at least $50 of the $150) by July 1 will result in Membership suspension. For new Full Members, this assessment will be prorated based on joining date.
-Do I have to be an SDC Full Member or Associate in order to apply for the Foundation Observerships and Fellowships?
SDCF Observerships are open to the public.  SDCF Fellowships for emerging artists are also open to the public.  Fellowships for established artists are limited to SDC Full Members and Associates.  For more information click here,  and if you have questions about Foundation Observerships or Fellowships, please send an email to Foundation@SDCweb.org.
-Do I have to be an SDC Full Member or Associate to participate in the exchanges, panel discussions, One-on-Ones, or DCNs?
You do not have to be a Full Member or Associate to attend DCN panel discussions or One-on-Ones; however there is occasionally a nominal attendance fee, which is reduced or waived for Members and Associates.
-I am a non-Member Director or Choreographer who works mostly overseas. If I join, will my work be covered?
SDC is a national labor union and at this time covers stage work in the United States only. However, some contracts cover work that begins in the U.S. and has additional companies overseas.  Please contact Member Services (email Membership@SDCweb.org) for more information.
-I am a non-Member Director or Choreographer who is not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to join SDC?
If you are a non-Member Director or Choreographer who is not a U.S. citizen you may be eligible to join, depending on which contract you are working under.  Please contact Member Services (email Membership@SDCweb.org) for more information.
-Can SDC help me get a job?
We are not an employment agency. We are a union. However, we do have an electronic community board in our online Member area where Members and Associates can check out job listings. We also encourage everyone to take advantage of our unique networking opportunities. We are continually working to expand Union jurisdiction which will create more job opportunities for Members.
-Can SDC help me get an agent?
SDC cannot help you find an agent, but we can provide you with names of talent agencies that represent Directors and Choreographers.
-Once I am accepted, how long until I’m officially a Member?
You are considered a Member as soon as we receive your payment for Annual Dues and Initiation.
-How do I join SDC?
To apply for Full or Associate Membership, we require a completed application and a current resume.   Materials may be emailed to Membership@SDCweb.org or mailed to Membership, SDC, 321 West 44th Street, Suite 804, NY NY 10036.
-How much does it cost to join SDC?
To join as a Full Member, initiation is currently $2,000 and Annual Dues are currently $240.  Full Members must also pay a *Special Assessment in effect 2015, 2016, and 2017.  To join as an Associate Member, initiation is currently $325 and Annual Dues are currently $75.  For more information about making a payment please click here. *Beginning January 2015, Full Members (both current and new, including Senior Members) will be charged a Special Assessment-Relocation & Technology, which was approved by the Membership at the 2014 Annual Membership Meeting. This $150 assessment will contribute to SDC’s capacity building advancements with the relocation of the offices and an information systems conversion. The Special Assessment will be treated like all SDC dues and assessments in terms of late fees and suspension. The assessment may be paid in $50 increments each year in 2015, 2016, and 2017, or the entire amount may be paid at once. Late fees will be applicable to payments not made by March 31 (of at least $50 of the $150) and failure to make the payment (of at least $50 of the $150) by July 1 will result in Membership suspension. For new Full Members, this assessment will be prorated based on joining date.
-Does SDC cover Associate and Assistant work on a contract?
If you are a Full Member working as an Assistant or Associate on a Non-Equity Tour or on a Regional Musical Theatre contract, you may file for your work.  Please contact Contract Affairs (email Contracts@SDCweb.org) for more information.  Currently Assistant or Associate work is not covered on other SDC contracts.
-Will it cost a theatre more money if I become an SDC Member?
In most cases it shouldn’t.  SDC contracts set minimum terms for fees, pension and health contributions. Often the compensation a theatre is already offering professional Directors and Choreographers is within SDC minimums. If you need additional information on what contract applies to a particular employer, please contact Contract Affairs.
-How do I know if a theatre is an SDC theatre or non-SDC theatre?
Once you become a Full Member every theatre is an SDC theatre. Our contracts cover activity from Broadway to academic institutions to festivals.  Please get in touch with Contract Affairs (email Contracts@SDCweb.org) to see which contract you should be filing for your work.
-Will joining SDC prevent me from accepting work?
As a Full Member you must file contracts anytime and anywhere you direct or choreograph. We have a variety of contracts, including contracts for theatres that do not have a Collectively Bargained Agreement with us.  Should you encounter a theatre or producer who is concerned about hiring you because you are an SDC Member, please let us know (email Contracts@SDCweb.org). However, being an SDC Member should never prevent you from working.
-If I join SDC, will I have to turn down Assistant and Associate gigs?
No.  In most cases SDC does not have jurisdiction over Assistants and Associates. You can be a Member and still take these jobs.  However, if you join as a Full Member and are hired as an Assistant or Associate on Non Equity Tours or under the Regional Musical Theatre agreement, you must file an SDC contract.
-Is there a point at which I am required to join SDC?
Joining requirements vary by contract.  Please contact Member Services if you’re unsure if you’re required to join.
-When is the right time for me to join?
The time to join varies by individual.  Some join because they have signed an SDC contract but have not become a Member.  Others join because they feel it’s time to take the next step in their career, and still others join because they are required to.  Member Services is available to advise you and answer any questions you have--but only you can determine if it’s the right time for you.
-I’m interested in joining SDC. What is the difference between being a Full Member and an Associate Member?
The most fundamental difference is that Associates do not file contracts and Full Members must file each and every time they work. For more information go to the SDC Membership page of the web-site. And you can always call or email the Member Services Dept (ext. 236, Membership@SDCweb.org) for more information.
-Why should I join SDC?
SDC is a national community of professional Stage Directors and Choreographers.  By joining as an Associate or Full Member, you are making a declaration that you are a professional in your field.  As a Full Member filing contracts, you are protected under SDC’s agreements for right of first refusal, property rights, and other basic protections.  As an Associate Member, you become part of an esteemed community of artists.
-I’ve lost my Membership card. How do I get a new one?
Call or email the Member Services Dept (ext. 236, Membership@SDCweb.org) and we’ll replace it for you.
-How can I change my name?
Please contact Member Services if you would like to change your name. Your name change may not be identical in spelling to a name registered to another Member. Log in to the Member Portal to change contact information.
-What’s the best way to let you know I’ve moved or changed my contact information?
You can fill out the change of contact info form on our website, or you can contact Member Services and they’ll be happy to take your new information.
-Where can I find the password for the Members Only Password Protected section of the website?
The current password can be found in the most recent issue of your monthly e-newsletter. You can also contact Member Services for the current password.
-Is it true that Full Members may be granted permission to videotape a rehearsal?
Yes. According to the SDC agreement with AEA, subject to approval from both Unions, a Director or Choreographer may videotape a final run-through in the rehearsal room with no costumes or props. This tape may be used for notation purposes only and may only be viewed by members of the creative team. Please contact the Member Services Dept (ext. 236, Membership@SDCweb.org) for the full terms of the agreement and the permission forms. Videotaping requests MUST be made at least TWO WEEKS prior to the requested taping date.
-I have a question about my dues invoice. Who can help me?
Contact Senior Business Associate Michele Holmes (ext. 240, MHolmes@SDCweb.org) and she’ll be glad to assist you.
-How do I know if I’m eligible for health insurance?
You are eligible to participate in the health plan if you are employed under an SDC contract and sufficient employer contributions are made to the SDC-League Health Fund on your behalf. Check out the Health Plan Eligibility page of the website to learn more about eligibility, and contact Funds Administrator John Everson (ext. 234, JEverson@SDCweb.org) for further explanation.
-I’m a Full Member but I won’t be working. Can I withdraw from SDC?
If you expect that you will not be directing or choreographing for at least a year and are a Member in good standing, you may place your Membership on Honorable Withdrawal.  While on withdrawal you may not accept work.  If your employment patterns change and you find that you are directing or choreographing within a year, you must return to active status. Upon your return to active Membership from your first term of honorable withdrawal you will be subject to a reinstatement fee of $50 plus then current dues.  For each subsequent return to active Membership you will be subject to an escalating reinstatement fee plus then current dues. For more information on Honorable Withdrawal, contact Member Services (email Membership@SDCweb.org).
-My Membership has been suspended. How do I find out how much I owe, and how can I make an online payment?
To find out how much you owe, contact Senior Business Associate Michele Holmes (ext. 240, MHolmes@SDCweb.org).  To make an online payment for any dues, initiation fees, and/or assessments, visit our homepage and click on Make Payment (on the far right), then click Member Dues and Assessments.  Enter the amount of your payment (refer to your invoice) to the right of the button, then click the One-Time Payment button. This will link you to our PayPal website for payment. NOTE: You do not need to log in to the SDC website or the PayPal website to make a one-time online payment. We will look at the contact information you provide to PayPal when applying your payment. If the name of the person making your payment does not match the name we have for you in our system, please contact SDC to alert us.
-What contract should I be filing for an upcoming show?
Only Full Members are eligible to file contracts. SDC’s Collectively Bargained Agreements can be found in the contracts section of our website.  If you’re not sure which contract you should be filing, please get in touch with Contract Affairs (email Contracts@SDCweb.org) and they’ll be able to help you.
-Can SDC also write a letter for the Director or Choreographer’s Associate or Assistant?
As of December 2010, SDC no longer writes O-2 letters for Assistant and Associate Directors and Choreographers. We are confident that a foreign Director or Choreographer coming over to the United States on an O-1 will have no problem choosing a talented and dedicated assistant from the large pool of remarkable artists who live here and are seeking work. Likewise, we will no longer write O-1 letters for foreign assistants and associates who are restaging work that has already been done here if the American assistant is available and willing to take the job. Please note that this policy does not extend to productions that are coming over intact. If a presenting organization is bringing over an entire company, the assistant or associate will naturally be included in our letter.
-Where can I find an SDC Logo for our program?
You can find downloadable logos under the Contracts menu of the website.
-Where can I find a list of SDC Members?
All Members in good standing are listed in SDC’s Member Directory Listing on our website.
-I’m hiring a foreign Director and/or Choreographer this season, and I need a consult letter for his/her visa application.
All requests are reviewed by SDC’s International Artists Committee. The following materials are required: a cover letter outlining the details of the request, a copy of the I-129 petition, the accompanying materials submitted with the petition, and the draft contract or deal memo.  The fees are as follows:
  • No charge for Members in good standing, standard service. (Turnaround time within two weeks of SDC’s receipt of all required materials.)
  • $250 for Members, expedited service.  (Turnaround time within three to five business days of SDC’s receipt of all required materials.)
  • $500 for non-Members, standard service.
  • $1,000 for non-Members, expedited service.
The materials can be submitted digitally to the Member Services Dept (ext. 236, Membership@SDCweb.org), or hard copies can be mailed to the attention of Member Services, SDC, 321 West 44th Street, Suite 804, New York, NY 10036.
-I would like to contact a particular Director or Choreographer. Can you give me his/her phone number or email address?
SDC staff is only authorized to release agent or manager information. If you are trying to hire a Member who is un-represented, we will do our best to forward your inquiry to that person. Actors are welcome to call the office for agent information, but please do not ask the staff to get in touch with a Director or Choreographer for you.
-Will SDC help me get work?
We are not an employment agency. We are a union. However, we do have an electronic community board in our online Member only section where Members and Associates can check out job listings.
-Do I have to be an SDC Member or Associate in order to apply for the Foundation Observerships and Fellowships?
With the exception of the Denham Fellowship and the Guest Artist Initiative, all of our fellowships are open to the public. Click on the Career Development page in the Foundation website for more information about applications, requirements and deadlines. If you have questions about Foundation Observerships or Fellowships please send an email to Foundation@SDCweb.org.
-Do I have to be an SDC Member or Associate to participate in the exchanges, panel discussions, One-on-Ones, or DCNs?
You do not have to be a Member or Associate to attend DCN Panel Discussions or One-on-Ones, however there is a occasionally a nominal attendance fee which is reduced or waived for Members and Associates.
-If I join SDC, will I have to turn down Assistant and Associate gigs?
No. SDC does not have jurisdiction over Assistants and Associates. You can be a Member and still take these jobs. There are no SDC contracts involved.
-I’ve forgotten my username and password for the Member Portal login. What do I do?
If you need your username and password information in order to access the Member Portal, call or email the Member Services Dept (ext. 236, Membership@SDCweb.org).