Your theatre company wants to perform one of my stage plays? That’s wonderful! I am honored.
But please note: simply purchasing copies of the script does not grant rights to perform the play, regardless of whether an admission fee is being charged. Production rights to all of my stage plays are controlled by WordCrafts Theatrical Press; the link to their email is below.
Obtaining the rights to produce one of my plays is not all that complicated, but there are a few questions that you might want to consider first. For example: When do you need to request production rights? How do you go about obtaining them? What exactly does the contract mean when it says the play must be performed “as written?”
You should begin the process of securing production rights at at least five to six months prior to opening night. Sometimes it just takes time to process requests. Although unlikely it is possible that if another theatre in your region is already producing the show, your request could be turned down. You want to leave time for Plan B if that happen. You will also need to allow time to order scripts and have them delivered.
Once you’ve received your production rights, you’ll need to order enough copies of the script for all actors and crew members. If you obtain rights but do not proceed to order scripts, you are essentially communicating to the publisher that you intend to illegally reproduce them. The truth is, it’s usually cheaper to just buy the scripts than to try to photocopy them. You can order scripts directly from this website, from WordCrafts Theatrical Press, or for any major book retailer, including Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.
I’ve been involved with theatre since my high school days, and I realize that directors often engage in slight alterations to the play text; for example passing a line from one character to another, or updating an obscure term to a more easily understood contemporary equivalent. Directors should be aware that it is expected that 100 percent of the text remain as is. All changes must be requested and approved in writing.