Exam Info: Central Region


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Designers and Scenic Artists interested in joining the Union who reside in the Central Region may do so through either the Examination or the Professional Membership Application process.


Note to Projection Designers

There is currently no formal Exam/Interview procedure for admitting members into the new Projection Design category. Working Projection Designers may join the union via the Professional Membership Application procedure (see How to Join) or by contacting the Business Representative for Live Production – currently Carl Mulert – in the NY Business Office at 212-581-0300 to arrange a review of the Projection Designer’s résumé and other portfolio materials.

Please contact the NY Office for more specific information.

Exams in the Central Region

Exams are given in the Central Region in five categories of membership: Scenic, Costume, Lighting and Sound Design and Scenic Art. Applicants should send the Application Form, a Résumé and the non-refundable Application Fee of $75.00 to the Central Region office address listed on the form. The fee must be paid by personal check only made payable to "United Scenic Artists Local USA 829."

The reviewers will be looking for the specific skills required for each category. Experience in the profession is the best preparation, and applicants from academic or fine arts backgrounds are encouraged to work in the field before applying to the Union.

Central Region Exam Forms (All Categories)

Central Region Sound Design (Only) Exam Forms

Design Exam Scheduling

Exams are given once a year, usually in the first week of June. Expedited Exams may be arranged at the discretion of the Committee. No Exams will be given prior to receipt of the proper $75.00 Application and $125.00 Exam Fees. Under special circumstances, and if the Committee is informed early enough of an unforeseen conflict, an applicant may postpone taking the Exam for which he/she has already paid.


Scenic Artist Exam Scheduling

The Exam Committee will determine whether the applicant is to take the TRACK A or TRACK B Exam. TRACK A applicants typically have at least two (2) or more years of professional employment as a Scenic Artist. Applicants must submit the Application, 3 letters of recommendation and personal checks made payable to "United Scenic Artists Local USA 829" in the amount of $75.00 for the Application Fee plus the appropriate Exam Fee ($125.00 or $225.00, as noted below).

  • TRACK A Exams are given by appointment only and consists of a 20–30 minute portfolio review and interview. Upon receipt of the $75.00 Application Fee, you will be contacted with the date and time of your Exam. You will be informed of the due date for the $125.00 Exam Fee.
  • TRACK B Exams for Scenic Artists consists of a home project and a 20-30 minute portfolio review and interview. Scenic Artists will also be given a Practical Studio Skills Test. Due to the time allotted for the home project, applications filed in the months of April and May will not be eligible for a June TRACK B Exam. In addition to the $75.00 Application Fee, the TRACK B Scenic Artist Exam Fee is $225.00 to help defray the expense of the Practical.

Please be advised that the Union will not be responsible for delayed receipt of forms or fees caused by Post Office negligence.

Professional Membership Application

Local USA 829 currently has Collective Bargaining Agreements (or CBAs) in the Central Region which cover employment in the following fields or locations:

  • Art Direction and Graphic Design for WBBM-TV (Chicago)
  • Graphic Design for KMOV-TV (St. Louis)
  • Scenic Artists for Goodman Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Image Technologies, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and area Scenery Suppliers
  • Design for Chicago Opera Theatre, Houston Grand Opera and Starlight Musicals 
  • Design and Scenic Art for the Court Theatre, Drury Lane Theatres, Victory Gardens Theatre and St. Louis MUNY Opera

If you have been hired to work under any of these agreements prior to becoming a member, you should call the Central Region Business Representative at 312-857-0829 to make application as a Professional Member. All Scenic Artists applying as Professional Members must present their portfolio for review by an Oversight Committee. The Committee's recommendation will be part of the presentation when the candidate is presented for membership.

In addition, Designers must make Professional Membership application upon being hired for their fourth (4th) LORT production. We strongly recommend that LORT designers apply to take the exam prior to being hired for the fourth production. 

See How to Join for more information on the Professional Membership Application.


Central Region Office - Mailing Address

Mail all application materials to:

      (Your Category) Exam Committee
      United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829
      111 N. Wabash Avenue
      Suite 2107
      Chicago, IL 60602
      Phone: 312-857-0829
      Fax: 312-857-081