SDC is the Union that negotiates strategically and effectively to protect  and guarantee the professional status of Stage Directors and Choreographers while promoting the understanding of and respect for these complex professions.

hen you become an SDC Member, you are welcomed into a national community of professional Directors and Choreographers. Led by an Executive Board comprised of Members representing all regions of the country, SDC unites, empowers, and protects Members throughout the United States. SDC recognizes that its Members are artists and strives to communicate the uniqueness and importance of the work stage directors and choreographers do. The Union has seasoned and strategic committees negotiating agreements that cover Members wherever they’re employed. SDC negotiates not only for proper compensation but for safe and adequate work rules as well. SDC continues to find ways in which to expand jurisdiction and better protect the rights of the Membership. SDC offers programming that fosters community and dialogue, and continues to forge partnerships with industry associates and organizations to promote positive interactions with multi-employer bargaining units such as LORT.

2012 Annual Membership Meeting in New York City
2012 Annual Membership Meeting in New York City

There are two levels of SDC Membership: Full Membership and Associate Membership. Full Members enjoy all the protections of contract filing wherever they are directing or choreographing, may participate in the negotiation of collectively bargained agreements, can qualify for health and pension coverage, engage in the national conversation about the crafts of directing and choreography through SDC Journal, stay up-to-date on Union business through the SDC monthly E-News, and receive national discounts and offers on goods and services. Associate Members benefit from their association with SDC as a declaration of their professional standing within the theatrical community. While Associate Members may not file SDC contracts when working as directors or choreographers, Associates may contact the SDC Contract Affairs staff with any employment questions they have. Associate Members also receive most of the non-contract-related benefits that Full Members enjoy.

Benefits of Membership

-Benefits of Associate Membership
  • Subscription to SDC Journal, the Union’s quarterly magazine.
  • Access to additional Fellowship opportunities and other programs only available to Members through the SDC Foundation.
  • Access to the SDC Contract Affairs department to answer questions regarding individual employment agreements.
  • Free or discounted admission to SDC Foundation events, workshops, or opportunities.
  • Subscription to the SDC’s monthly E-News.
  • Specially negotiated national discounts and offers for health club memberships, car rentals, hotels, and much more, as well as access to industry workshops and events.
  • Access to the Actors Federal Credit Union.
  • Access to the SDC conference room, a quiet meeting space in our office in Midtown Manhattan.
-Benefits of Full Membership
  • Contract protection wherever you work, including: minimum levels of compensation; how you are billed; media use; ensuring your right of first refusal to direct/choreograph future productions; protecting your right to copyright the work you create; and more.
  • Eligible to participate in the negotiation of Collectively Bargained Agreements.
  • Eligible to attend Membership meetings across the country and participate on committees that shape the face of the Union today and for the future.
  • Eligible to run for a position on the SDC Executive Board, the governing body of the Union (subject to requirements as set forth in the SDC By-laws).
  • Ability to qualify for a pension.
  • Ability to qualify for coverage under a health plan.
  • Subscription to SDC Journal, our quarterly magazine that explores all aspects of directing and choreography.
  • Subscription to the SDC E-News, our monthly newsletter with up-to-the-minute information on all aspects of Union business, including negotiation updates, pension and health issues, and Member services and events.
  • Access to the SDC conference room, a quiet meeting space in our office in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Free or discounted admission to SDC Foundation events, workshops, and opportunities.
  • Access to the Actors Federal Credit Union.
  • Specially negotiated national discounts and offers for health club memberships, car rentals, hotels, and much more - as well as access to industry workshops and events.

What does it cost to become a Member?

  • Initiation Fee: $2,000 (effective 1/1/11)

    *Annual Dues: $240 (effective 1/1/17)

    Working Dues Assessment: 2.5% on all fees and royalties earned under SDC contracts

    *All Full Members (both current & new) are charged a Special Assessment-Relocation & Technology fee, which was approved by the Membership at the 2014 Annual Membership Meeting. This $150 Assessment contributes to SDC’s capacity building advancements with the relocation of the offices and an information system conversion. All new Members joining in 2016 (one year after the Assessment approval) are charged 2/3 of the total Assessment, or $100. The Special Assessment is 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 2016 and 2017 or the entire amount (currently $100) at once. A failure to make the payment (of at least $50 of the $100) by July 1 will result in Membership suspension.

  • Initiation Fee: $325 (effective 1/1/13)

    Annual Dues: $75 (effective 1/1/13)


Fall 2013: I joined SDC a couple of months ago and was really grateful for the warm welcome I received.  Everyone I've spoken to at the office has been helpful, supportive, and patient.  I've also enjoyed using the conference room/library to do work.  I look forward to getting to know SDC better over the coming years.

Ethan Heard

Thank you so much for always protecting us and being so supportive. I am very thankful for all that you do!

Kelly Devine

Seen on SDC's Facebook, Sept. 5, 2013: Just need to take a moment to express my love for SDC. Best union ever! It’s great to be part of a strong, active union.

Douglas ClaytonMember

@jonnysilver tweeted on Dec. 10, 2012: Just stopped by @SDCweb @SDCFoundation for the 1st time in years and I have never felt more welcome. Thank you!!!

Jonathon SilversteinMember

@astagej tweeted on March 4, 2013: A big thanks to @SDCweb for arranging an awesome happy hour tonight for us LA members. Y’all are the best. #LAThtr

Alexis JacknowMember

@ChristopherGurr tweeted on Sept. 2, 2013: Happy Labor Day, all! From a proud union worker in @ActorsEquity @SDCweb and @SAGAFTRA.

Christopher GurrMember

@christashima tweeted: Voted - @SDCweb Executive Board. Glad to see some #diversity among candidates.

Chris TashimaMember