CHICAGO THEATRE ACCESS AUDITIONS
What Is CTAA?
January 27, 2020
In 2017, a few ambitious people wondered:
Is there a better way for Non-Union actors to be seen by
Chicago's Equity theatres?
We wanted to take a step towards answering that question for the
Chicago theatre community.
That's how the first-ever Chicago Theatre Access Auditions were created.
The response from the Equity community was so overwhelmingly positive that we invited a curated list of Non-Equity theatres to participate in this amazing day, too.
This by-application, one-day event gave roughly 150 NON-UNION Chicagoland actors the opportunity to audition for multiple Equity AND select Non-Equity theatres. Invited actors receive a guaranteed audition appointment time and
90 seconds to share their brand of amazing.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Adult (18+), NON-UNION performers
who reside in the greater Chicagoland* area and are currently not enrolled in school (whether it be at the high school, undergraduate, or graduate level).
If you are a member of the EMC program (regardless of how many points you have acquired), a member of Actors Equity, or permanently reside outside the state of Illinois, you are not eligible to attend at this time. We are unfortunately not able to accept applicants who are still enrolled in high school or currently enrolled in a part-time or full-time college degree program.
*We define Chicagoland as areas within the state of Illinois. We currently do not accept applicants of other surrounding states (WI, IN, etc.) that are within driving distance of Chicago.
PLEASE NOTE THAT, UNLIKE PREVIOUS YEARS, THESE ARE THE ONLY REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY FOR CTAA 2020
PARTICIPATING THEATRES - 2019
Want your theatre to attend?
HOW TO APPLY
APPLICATIONS FOR CTAA 2020 WILL BE OPEN FROM 10am ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6TH, 2019 TO 10pm ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13TH, 2019.
NO LATE APPLICATIONS WERE OR ARE ACCEPTED.
APPLICANTS that correctly fill out their application will receive their application status via email.
You'll get an email that says you are INVITED TO AUDITION, WAITLISTED, or ENCOURAGED TO APPLY NEXT YEAR.
If your HSR file is NOT formatted correctly to the specifications listed below, you will NOT receive ANY email that confirms your application status. NO exceptions. Follow directions, y’all, and there will be no problems.
Did You Format Your HSR Correctly? Find out with the steps below:
CONVERTING TO PDF
Did you take your Word or JPG file and CONVERT it to a PDF? Is EACH file only ONE page long?
MERGING YOUR PDF FILES
Is your HEADSHOT Page 1 and your RESUME Page 2? Is your merged file ONLY two pages in TOTAL?
Everything look good? DOUBLE CHECK.
Please be aware that we will discard your application if your HSR PDF file is NOT formatted correctly, and you will not receive an application decision*.
* We know that technology issues can happen. If you're positive you submitted your application correctly and don't get a confirmation email or a decision email, please reach out to us and we will check for you.
IS CTAA AN ACCESSIBLE AND INCLUSIVE EVENT?
We do hope so. We're still learning and open to suggestions. On your application, we'll ask you how we can make the space, audition experience, and event accessible to you. We'll have Certified ASL interpreters if needed, volunteers to assist with building and elevator access throughout the day, Accessibility signage for attendees and volunteers behind the scenes, all-gender restrooms, and both casting professionals and in-room personnel
will have audition rosters with your pronouns.
YOU are important to US.
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA?
You must be at least 18 years old;
You are not a student (high school, undergraduate, and graduate programs all apply);
You are a resident of the Chicagoland area (but that your residency is in the state of Illinois); and
You're a non-union actor with no EMC points
CAN I GET SOME DEETS ON THE AUDITION ITSELF?
This is not an all-day endeavor. YAY!
Those invited to attend will receive a guaranteed audition appointment at a specified time.
Your audition is 90 seconds with a hard stop. Monologues ONLY (might we suggest a lovely 1-minute piece with a full arc?)
This is NOT a musical theatre audition and there will not be an accompanist.
You will NOT need to provide a physical HS/R on the day of the audition. Our casting professionals will receive digital packages after the event and be provided with a notebook day-of with a color thumbnail of your lovely face and a place to take notes on your brand of awesome.
I'M EMC. WHY AM I NOT ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND CTAA?
As a member of Equity's EMC program, you receive priority at EPAs throughout the year. As well you should! CTAA is designed to help more performers achieve what you already have -- a step towards joining the Union -- as they build their resumes and elevate their careers to your level. Please note that we do check the equity status on every actor selected for audition day, so do yourself a favor- DON'T LIE ABOUT YOUR EMC STATUS.
I'M A MUSICAL THEATRE ACTOR, WHY ISN'T THERE A MUSICAL THEATRE DAY?
Trust us - we would LOVE to have a musical theatre day. In fact, we do have plans down the line to start one for future years. But, for now, this is just an event for straight theatre. Don't worry, we definitely haven't forgotten about you. We are actively working on the logistics for this to happen at some point. And who's to say musical theatre actors can't nail a 90 second monologue? Apply anyway!
HOW IS THE CTAA FUNDED?
We purposefully do not charge our actors a fee to participate, but this event does cost us money to present, which is why we rely on sponsors to help us make this happen. If you would like to become one of our sponsors email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also click over to the DONATE tab. We would be forever grateful.
MY THEATRE WASN'T INVITED. CAN WE PARTICIPATE?
We have limited space available, with priority going to Equity companies. Please reach out to EMAIL with inquiries about attending CTAA 2020.
At this time, we are not permitting freelance directors to attend CTAA.
HOW DOES CTAA DETERMINE THE FINAL LIST OF INVITED ACTORS?
We had 1,200 incredibly talented actors apply in our first year. Selecting applications gets TOUGH when we only have 150-ish appointments available. We agonize for weeks over it. However, note each application is evaluated by the entire committee and we come to a consensus. This ensures that there is no one person who can guarantee or deny an actor an appointment. The time at which you submitted your application has no bearing on whether you're invited to attend -- unless you submitted it PAST the deadline. We seek a final audition roster that represents the spectrum of identities, ethnicities, abilities, and experiences that make Chicago a beautiful place to create art.
CAN I GET INDIVIDUAL FEEDBACK ON MY APPLICATION?
Sorry, you can't. Just like in the real world, we will not provide individual feedback on any application, so please don't email us asking for it.
YOU DIDN'T ANSWER MY QUESTION. UGH!
We'd love to, though! Use the button below to drop us a line.
Our AMAZING 2020 Sponsors
Numerous incredible Chicagoland arts businesses, organizations and people are the reason there is no cost for actors to apply for or to attend CTAA. We couldn't do any of this without them!
When we had this wild idea in 2017, the founders of Vagabond gave us the encouragement to pursue it and asked how they could help make it a reality. Their generosity spanned many levels -- including financial support, event planning space, donating space for the event, decades of industry experience, and generous connections to Chicago casting professionals. They gave us the foundation to transform a wild idea into a gift to the Chicago theatre community. We can't possibly thank them enough.
Our AMAZING 2019 Sponsors
League of Chicago Theatres
This could be YOU!
We want YOU to become our next sponsor!
Here's our donation price breakdown:
Shoutout on our website and a thank you card from our team!
Have your logo featured on our website and one social media post/shoutout.
Royalty ($100 - $299)
All of the above, + Your marketing materials into actor packets and displayed on site day of audition, and enjoy a CTAA Sticker!
Icon ($300 - $499)
All of the above, + dedicated social media post advertising WHATEVER YOU WANT on our page, and a CTAA Thank You mug!
All of the above, + dedicated social media post, advertising WHATEVER YOU WANT on our page, a CTAA Thank You mug and our undying gratitude 5ever!
If you'd like to volunteer to assist with the event in 2020, we'd love to hear from you. We'll need check-in personnel, timekeepers, room monitors, Accessibility team members, and general support.
If you are EMC or Equity, we highly encourage you to sign up to volunteer. While EMC and Equity members aren't eligible to audition, you are eligible to lend a hand to your fellow actors for the day! And you get to spend the day meeting new actors and in the orbit of many of the city's casting professionals.
All volunteers, regardless of Equity/EMC status, will have their HS/R shared with all attending casting professionals following the event.
DONATE TO CTAA
In order to make Chicago Theatre Access Auditions 100% free for both actors and casting directors, we rely solely on donations to keep us afloat.
Please consider making a donation for the 2020 Chicago Theatre Access Auditions! Last year, roughly 150 non-equity actors were able to audition for casting directors from 34 companies, completely FREE to all! This year, auditions will be held on Monday, January 27th, 2020 at Silk Road Rising. Every single dollar helps us get Chicago Actors access to casting directors from Chicago's best theatre companies, and no gift is too small. Thank you so much to those of you who have chosen to donate today!
Donate here: paypal.me/ctaauditions
(The name you see in the account, Kelsey, is one of our awesome committee members - you're in the right place!)
*Chicago Theatre Access Auditions is not yet a 501c3 organization. Your donations will not be tax deductible, but we thank you greatly for your donation!