top of page

This work explores the relationship between Actor and Producer through the idea of contract. 
I began to develop the idea of making a contract inspired by the work of artist Seth Siegalaub (1941-2013). In his idea of the contract as a way to strengthen the relationship between the artists and their work.
To what extent can and should artists be responsible for establishing the conditions of their work?

These conditions are normally imposed by other agents - producers, programmers, agents. It is my belief that a reflection about the actor’s autonomy should also address this responsibility: acknowledgment and claiming for the conditions of our work. 

The writing of the contract begins at the MTP with an assignment of Writing Practices, proposed by Konstantina Georgelou.
I invited a lawyer, Mafalda Sebastião, to work with me on this assignment.

Mafalda Sebastião is a Portuguese lawyer who works mainly in the areas of Labor Law and Cultural Law, including Intellectual Property. Mafalda also worked as a theatre producer.

The process of this transauthorship was quite simple: Mafalda gave me a contract and I rewrote it. And this exchange between us carried on. 

My challenge was to fill in the open spaces, change and propose rights that I believe are valid for the actor. Mafalda's role was to rewrite it, making sure it did not loose its viability and could still  be used as a contract.

My intention was to co-create a contract that could be used by any actor. 

Next, I would like to use this contract to explore the relationship between the Actor and the Producer in a future project.

This contract was created in Portuguese, according to the Portuguese law.


I would like to clarify that this is a translation of a contract and, therefore, a non bidding document.

Actor's Contract

The different highligh colors refer to:

Yellow: Changes made on the 29th November 2018

Grey: Changes made on the 17th January 2019

Blue:Changes made on the 7th March 2019

Green:Changes made on the 12th April 2019




Between: _________ (Name of the First Party), hereinafter the FIRST PARTY;
and MARIA JOÃO FALCÃO, with the tax number ________, ID card number ________, issued by Ministério da Justiça/Direcção-Geral de Registos e Notariado/Serviços de Identificação Civil and with the address ____________, hereinafter the SECOND PARTY.


1.The FIRST PART will produce a theatrical show/an audiovisual work entitled _______ (name of the theatrical show/audiovisual work), hereinafter show/________(name of the work);

2. The SECOND PART is available to collaborate in the theatrical show/audiovisual work identified in the item before under the terms and conditions set out below;

3. The THIRD PART has the necessary powers of representation to legally represent the SECOND PART.


(Object of the contract)

1.   By this contract, the SECOND PART, in the quality of actor, will be part of the cast of a show titled ________ (name of the theatrical show/ audiovisual work) described in the Accounts above.

2.  The show/_____ (name of the work) mentioned above, will be presented to the audience in/ will be broadcasted by___________ (theatre/station) on the/between the days ______, at _______ (time).


(Obligations of the First Part)

Under this contract, the FIRST PARTY, supporting the inherent costs and the terms defined by them, should:

a)Ensure the availability of the theatre room/shooting locations from _______ (date) until ________ (date), for rehearsals and public presentations of the show/shootings, in their normal operating conditions;

b) Ensure the use of technical equipment, as human resources for sound, lightning and stage design/décor;

c) Ensure the stage direction/production  for the rehearsal period from________ (date), as well as for the whole run of the show/shooting period;

d) Obtain the necessary representation license, as well as any authorizations that may be necessary in respect of copyright, neighboring rights and/or personality rights;

e) Ensure the promotion, dissemination and publicity of the theatrical show/audiovisual work in the terms set below in the Seventh Clause;

f) Provide the house management of the theatre/filming locations


(Obligations of the Second Part)

1. Under this contract, the SECOND PARTY supporting the inherent costs and the terms defined by them should:

a) Prepare properly for the performance of the role assigned to her/him, attend and participate in all necessary technical and stage rehearsals according to the schedule established for the purpose by the creative team and direction of the Theatre/Producer;

b) Play the role assigned to her/him in each performance of the show/shooting period defined in the period here contracted, with technical and artistic quality, in strict collaboration with the Director, without prejudice of her/his artistic autonomy of interpretation;

c) Agree that at any point of the creative process her/his character and its incidence can be altered or even excluded, according to the will and artistic freedom of the Director.

d) Attend all the make-up, hair-styling and costume fittings that are necessary and be available for possible changes in his/her image and/or characterization defined by the Director, that allow a better identification or performance of his/her role;

e) Ensure his/her availability for all contacts and media interviews, as defined by the First Party, with a view to the dissemination and promotion of the show;

f) Ensure his/her own transportation, accommodation and meals, except when the rehearsals/film shooting happens outside the specified location;---

g) Comply with the rules and instructions issued by the technical teams of the Theater/Producer in the scope of its normal operation;

h) Provide the other complementary services and/or accessories that arise from the above, considering the purpose for which he/she was contracted;

i) Have the work  insurance in full conditions of validity.

2. The SECOND PARTY is not subject to any hierarchical relationship on the part of the FIRST or THIRD PARTY or of legal subordination, being bound only by the result of his/her performance and carrying it out in compliance with the principles and objectives that may be defined by the FIRST PARTY.

3. The SECOND PARTY expressly declares to know and accept all the technical and logistical characteristics of the Theater, recognizing them as perfectly adequate for the presentation, with excellent quality, of the show.



(Artistic Rights of the Second Part)

1. The SECOND PARTY has the right:

a) to create in full freedom within what has been defined in collaboration with the Director;

b) to not be replaced if there is no breach of his/her contractual obligations;

c) to refuse to participate at any part of the creative process if it puts at risk his/her physical, moral or psychological integrity;

d) to refuse new show dates/seasons;

e) to refuse to participate in any advertising/promotion that is outside of  the context of the theatrical/audiovisual show (eg. soft sponsoring).

f) to be granted copyrights if participating in the creation;


(Extension/Extra Dates)

1. The FIRST PARTY shall inform the SECOND/THIRD PARTY at least 15 (fifteen) business days prior to the new dates of performance/extension of shooting days;

2. The SECOND PARTY shall have the right to refuse new dates of performance/extension of shooting days, in which case the FIRST PARTY may request the replacement of the SECOND PART;


(New Seasons)

1. The FIRST PARTY shall inform the SECOND PARTY with at least 1 month (one month) notice in the event of a New Season;

2. In case both parties agree to a new season, a new contract must be celebrated.



1. The SECOND PARTY authorizes the possible recording of the rehearsals and/or public presentations provided herein, in any type of technical support, exclusively for archiving and promoting purposes.

2. The FIRST PARTY undertakes to provide a copy to the SECOND PARTY of the recording of the theatrical/audiovisual work;

3. Should the SECOND PARTY wish the recording of the show, in any technical support, he/she can only do so for archiving and private usage and must deliver a copy to the FIRST PARTY.


(Promotion, Dissemination and Publicity)

1. The promotion, dissemination and publicity of the show shall be exclusively determined and carried out by the FIRST PARTY.

2. The SECOND PARTY authorizes that in the Theater, there may be promotional/publicity mentions of the FIRST PARTY, as well as of any sponsors and/or supporters of THE FIRST PARTY.



1. Within the scope of this contract, the FIRST PARTY shall pay to the SECOND PARTY the amount of _____ (amount), subject to the applicable VAT.

2. The payment of the amount provided in the previous number will be made by bank transfer, in the following way: _______ (payment method).

3. The SECOND PARTY undertakes to deliver to the First Contractor the proper documents of discharge with legal- fiscal effects.

4. No sums other than those arising under this Clause may be required from the SECOND PARTY.


(Tickets and Invitations)

1. The ticket management shall belong exclusively to the FIRST PARTY.

2. If the SECOND PARTY is the creator or co-creator of the show, the definition of ticket prices shall be made by agreement between the FIRST and SECOND PARTY.

3. The FIRST PART shall make available to the SECOND PARTY the total number of individual invitations determined by it, and in accordance with the policy to be defined for the Season.


(General conditions)

1. The SECOND PART undertakes to use prudently and according to the needs inherent to the activities of the facilities, infrastructures and all equipment and materials made available to him/her.

2. The use of the theatre/filming locations shall comply unconditionally with the information provided by the FIRST PARTY or its representatives, in particularly with regards to timetable for its use.

3. The FIRST PARTY shall only be responsible for any lost property of the SECOND PARTY, when entrusted directly to the security of the Theater/Producer, through a relation previously delivered and endorsed by both parties.


(Other Conditions)

The FIRST PARTY shall inform the SECOND PART via email of the public places/festivals where the audiovisual work is being presented.



1. The failure by the SECOND PART to comply with any of the obligations set forth in this contract shall give the FIRST PART the right to not pay the amount provided in the Seventh Clause above or to refund it, if it has already been paid.

2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not affect the right of the FIRST PART to terminate this contract on the grounds mentioned therein, and shall not affect the right to compensation for any excess damages resulting from the resolution.

3. The failure by the FIRST PART to comply with any of the obligations set forth in this contract shall give the SECOND PART the right to compensation under the general terms of law.



1. In case of death or sickness that prevents the performance of the SECOND PART, the latter shall receive the proportional remuneration provided for in Seventh Clause above.

2. In the event of an anomaly occurring during the project, for reasons not attributable to any of the parts and/or force majeure causes (eg. strikes, demonstrations, floods, earthquakes, acts of vandalism or terrorism, war, revolution, epidemic, pandemic, fire, alluvium or any other serious and unforeseeable catastrophe), as well as in case of cancellation of the same, for any reason not provided for in the previous Clause, the provisions of the last part of the preceding paragraph shall apply, just as there will be no place for any of the parts, to any indemnity or compensation whatsoever.


It is agreed between the parties that this contract takes effect from the date of its signature and will last until all rights and obligations arising from it expire.



(Notifications and Communications)

1. The notifications or communications to be made by the Contractors under this contract or the Law may be effected by email to the representatives designated by the Contractors or registered, in such cases being addressed to the addresses indicated in the beginning of the contract;

2. Any amendment to the above-mentioned contacts shall take effect only after the written communication has been received in writing by the other Part.

3. All orders, instructions or information transmitted orally must be confirmed in writing, under the terms of the previous numbers, within a maximum period of 48 (forty-eight) hours.


(Final Provisions)

1. Any amendment, addition or ancillary provision to this contract and / or its annexes shall be recorded in a written document signed by both parties.

2. Any lacuna or omission of this contract and/or its annexes shall be supplied by agreement between both contracting parties, in the terms set out in the previous number, and, in addition, by recourse to the applicable legislation.

3. Both parties designate the forum of the district of Lisboa as competent to hear any dispute arising from the interpretation and execution of this contract, with express waiver of any other.


Celebrated in _______ , at _______, in two copies, occupying each copy _________ (number of pages) and  each contractor being in possession of a signed copy.



First Part                                              Second Part




      _________________________________                          __________________________________




(Stamp duty paid by means of legal guide)

bottom of page