Open Book Theatre is likely to be taken up, at least to start with, by companies working in fringe theatre.
While there are established contracts available for cast and crew in larger-scale productions, it is very difficult to find contracts suitable for use in fringe theatre and profit-share productions. In most fringe shows there is no contract between the company and the actors.
We don’t think that’s fair on either party.
It’s very much a stepping stone agreement, for companies that want to start using best practice as soon as possible in their working relationships, and is not intended to supplant any Union agreements. Both founders of Red Table are members of the relevant Trade Unions – The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Equity – and we recommend that as soon as possible any theatre company should begin using those agreements in preference to this.
However, in practical terms, it is not always possible to sign up to a full Union contract, especially in smaller venues, and we believe that a contract setting out the terms of the profit-share and the work required on both sides is far better than no contract at all.
Please feel free to use the model contract above as the basis for your own fringe and profit-share productions. And if you have any feedback on it, or have used it or a variant in your own shows, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain model contract for profit-share and expenses-only productions on their agreements, rates, and guidelines page.
Templates for Health & Safety policies and Risk Assessments can be found at the Health and Safety Executive website.
We also have a Model Investment Contract for use with investors, which lays out how units in the production are sold, and what the investor can expect to receive in return for their investment.