Rights Help

  • In all probability, yes.

    All performances must be licensed by Playscripts in advance -- regardless of the size of the audience, and whether or not an admission fee is charged. The writer -- like a costume shop or makeup supplier -- must receive compensation whether or not you charge admission.

    If you are a school, you still must pay royalties.
    If you are a non-profit institution, you still must pay royalties.
    If you do not charge admission, you still must pay royalties.
    If you invite an audience to a dress rehearsal, you still must pay royalties.
    If you perform the play or musical at a school competition or festival, you still must pay royalties.

    Exceptions:
    •  Currently, royalties are waived for the performance of excerpts lasting less than 10 minutes at adjudicated school theatrical festivals or competitions, unless otherwise noted. These particular performances, and only these, are automatically authorized by the playwright when you purchase books of the play you wish to perform. (Note: Any other cuttings must receive prior approval from Playscripts.)
    •  Royalties for certain in-classroom performances may be reduced or waived. Performances at school assemblies do not count as in-classroom performances. Neither do performances at school festivals and competitions. Your eligibility will be assessed automatically when you order "Performance rights."

  • Your admission fee (or lack thereof) has nothing to do with whether or not the royalty fee is required.

  • No. Unauthorized photocopying of books or scores is strictly prohibited by law.

  • Currently, royalties are waived for the performance of excerpts lasting less than 10 minutes at adjudicated school theatrical festivals or competitions, unless otherwise noted. These particular performances, and only these, are automatically authorized by the playwright when you purchase books of the play you wish to perform. (Note: Any other cuttings must receive prior approval from Playscripts.)

  • In order to change or remove any language, you must receive prior permission from Playscripts. If you cannot perform the play or musical without such changes, you should not hold auditions until such permissions have been granted.

    Please send an email to info@playscripts.com with the details of the changes you are interested in making. We will respond as quickly as possible.

  • In the vast majority of cases, yes. After you have placed your order, we will contact you as soon as possible if the performance rights are not available for your group.

  • For amateur groups, the process is instantaneous. Once you have placed an order, an invoice and licensing agreement are generated immediately, tailored specficially to your order. (If the performance rights to a given play are restricted in your area, Playscripts will contact you and let you know immediately after we receive your order information.)

    For professional groups, the order process is not instantaneous, but you may still begin your order online. Once we receive your production request, we will contact you with further details as quickly as possible -- usually within just a few days.

  • Please note that the following rules only apply to amateur groups (except K-12 schools) performing a full-length play or full-length musical, or a professional group performing any title.

    Before your show: To obtain performance rights, you must pay the performance fee indicated on your invoice. This is your up-front minimum royalty payment.

    After your show: If 8-12% of your box office receipts (ticket sales) turns out to be greater than this up-front minimum royalty, then you will owe Playscripts the difference. (Consult your licensing agreement for the exact percentage.) Immediately after your final performance, mail Playscripts a statement of box office receipts signed by your organization's managing director or bookkeeper, along with any royalties due.

    For example: Say that you pay an up-front minimum royalty fee of $360, and after your show, your total box office receipts turn out to be $4,000. 8% of $4,000 is $320. Since $320 is less than your up-front minimum royalty payment, you only need to send Playscripts your signed box office statement.

    On the other hand, what if your total box office receipts turn out to be $6,000? 8% of $6,000 is $480, so you owe Playscripts the difference: $480 - $360 = $120. You would mail in $120 along with your signed box office statement.

    In short: You owe the writer at least a flat fee per performance, and at most some percentage of your actual revenue.

  • The book published by Playscripts is the only version of the play that the playwright has authorized for production. We are obligated by our associated authors to ensure that theaters do not perform any different versions found in anthologies, magazines, etc.

    Also, it is illegal to photocopy any books, whether published by Playscripts or any other publisher.

    Therefore, depending on your situation, you must do one of the following:

    -If you do not own as many books as you plan to use, you must order a sufficient quantity from Playscripts.

    -If you do in fact own as many Playscripts editions as you plan to use, let us know how and where you acquired them, when prompted during the order process.

    -If you own a sufficient quantity of a non-Playscripts edition of the play, you must verify that you are actually performing the text as it appears in the authorized Playscripts edition, by purchasing at least one Playscripts edition.

    As you can understand, it is critical that Playscripts uphold the intellectual property rights of its associated authors, and we cannot license your production until we know your situation.
  • In general, professional theaters pay at least $75 per performance of a full-length play or musical, and at most 8-12% of actual box office revenue. The up-front royalty guarantee is most regularly between $75 per performance and $250 per performance. These rates vary from one license to another.

    If you would like to inquire about professional performance rights, please begin your order online or contact us. Once we receive your production request, we will contact you with further details as quickly as possible -- usually within just a few days.

    Please note that the royalty rates quoted in our catalog are for amateur groups only.
  • It's permission to film your performance. Just like you need permission to perform your show, you also need permission to record it. This license gives you permission to videotape the performance for archival purposes only. You may make one copy for each cast and crew member, but no further distribution is allowed.

  • Availability will vary from play to play. If a play is available for archival video licensing, it will generally be listed as an item alongside performances during the order process. If a play you're performing doesn't have an archival video license to purchase online, feel free to contact us to see if one is available.

  • The cost will vary from play to play. Generally, the fee is $75 for short plays and $125 for full-length plays and musicals.

  • Simply add it to your shopping cart when placing your order for performances. If you've already ordered your performances and you'd like to add an archival video license, feel free to contact us, and we'll create an order for you.

  • The short answer is no. Video licensing does not give you permission to broadcast or post your video online. If you would like to request this permission, feel free to contact us. Note this may carry an additional fee.

  • If you wish to receive a refund for an archival video license, you must request the refund before the date of the last performance specified in your order.