FAQs - KIDS' THEATRE PLAYS AND SCRIPTS
ROYALTIES AND PERFORMANCE FEES
Question: If we read play books (or play scripts) in our classroom do we need to pay a performance fee?
Answer: If your reading or presentation is a CLASS PROJECT you will not be required to pay a performance fee.
If your reading or presentation is a CLASS PERFORMANCE, you may be required to pay a performance fee.
See the definitions below.
CLASS PROJECT: Reading or Presenting a Play (or Play Script) in the Classroom.
A Play or Play Script read or presented as a classroom project and attended by the students of that same class and educational support personnel, requires no performance royalty fee for this use.
CLASS PERFORMANCE: Reading or Presenting a Play (or Play Script) in the Classroom with an Audience
A class project transforms into a performance when there are invited guests to a performance.
In this case, permission must be secured from me and a fee is charged.
However, I will not charge you a royalty when 6 or fewer “external” audience members (example: parents) are present in the Class Project Reading or Performance.
Question: How many play books or scripts do we have to buy?
Answer: You should order sufficient books or scripts for both your cast and your crew.
The general policy for the minimum books or scripts that I require is 20. More specifically, you should buy enough to meet your needs.
While I understand that some roles are small and a same actor can play a few small parts, it does not mean that you can cut the cast size in half.
Please also keep in mind that many members of your technical crew will need a script, including those working on set design, costuming, blocking, props, lights and sound and stage effects.
Question: Why can’t we photocopy play books or scripts?
Answer: Photocopying books or scripts without permission is stealing. If you duplicate a book or script, you are taking something that belongs to the writer/playwright.
You are also breaking international copyright law.
Question: Why do we have to pay a royalty if we're not charging admission?
Answer: Payment of a royalty fee and receiving performance rights means that you have permission to use and perform the writer/playwright’s property.
The writer/playwright is entitled to be paid whether or not you choose to charge admission. Most of my customers are schools or non-profit organizations, but all are expected to pay royalties.
Question: Can we cut, edit or change a play in any way?
Answer: I am fairly flexible regarding my customers making changes to one of my plays to have it better meet their needs.
The typical sort of changes I will easily approve includes changing the gender of a character to fit your cast needs;
increasing/decreasing the number of characters to adapt to the number of actors available; or splitting a character’s dialogue to fit the cast.
Adding or cutting lines to accommodate your time constraints is also quite possible as long as it does not change the plot or intent of the play in any way.
Since my play books and scripts are all copyrighted, all changes must be approved by me before your production.
I’ll be happy to help and advise you on the required changes to meet your production requirements.
Question: May we videotape the performance?
Answer: Friends and family are always welcome to videotape your performance for their own personal use.
There are two instances where you will need to discuss your situation with me to receive the required permission:
if you choose to sell copies of your video for profit or if you wish to show your video as a public performance or on cable television.
In either of these circumstances, please contact me to make arrangements.
Question: Our local cable station wants to broadcast our performance. Is that OK?
Answer: I consider this is an exciting opportunity and I’m always pleased to hear when you have this “taste of fame.”
In this instance, I ask that you pay an additional performance royalty (amount to be discussed) for broadcasting rights.
Question: Do we need to pay a performance royalty fee for our Contest Play?
Answer: Contest performances require a performance royalty payment. Many of the state contests require that you present a notice indicating
that you have paid the performance royalty fee before performing. Performing your contest play before an audience at your school requires a performance royalty payment.
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