Dielectric elastomer transducers are often subject to large tensile stretches and are susceptible to rupture. Here we carry out an experimental study of the rupture behavior of membranes of an acrylic dielectric elastomer. Pure-shear test specimens are used to measure force-displacement curves, using samples with and without pre-cracks. We find that introducing a pre-crack into a membrane drastically reduces the stretch at rupture. Furthermore, we measure the stretch at rupture and fracture energy using samples of different heights at various stretch-rates. The stretch at rupture is found to decrease with sample height, and the fracture energy is found to increase with stretch-rate. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.