The following is an article written by Texas Performing Arts Associate Director for Programming and Production [Rachel Durkin-Drga|mailto:rdurkindrga@texasperformingarts. org]. Please use the attached [Music Rights Request Form|^Music Rights Request Form.doc] and return to Academic Production Manager: David dstew Stewart to obtain music rights for a Theatre and Dance Production.
If you want to play or sing a song live during a performance, you need to contact the composer’s/lyricist’s representative and the publisher. The best place to find out who the representatives are is via the internet. Both ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) have web sites (addresses below) and represent the interests of composers, lyricists and publishers.
<span style="color: #006daf">[</span><span style="color: #006daf">ASCAP</span>\|http://www.ascap.com\]
These two web sites allow you to search a database by song title or composers’ name and in most instances, will indicate who holds the rights to that particular song. If you try both web sites and the song is not listed at either site, you need to contact the record company. They may be able to provide information on who to contact.
Some cautionary notes:
- Be aware that you may need to contact more than one representative. The number of representatives you may need to contact is often based on how many composers/lyricists worked on a song.
- Be sure that the person you deal with has the authority to grant permission for your particular usage.
- Determine which play publishing house has the rights to the play you wish to produce. Each company has a catalogue which will indicate a royalty fee. However, be aware that the fee for your particular organization may differ.
- You should call the company to find out if the play is available for production. In some instances, plays are “restricted” which means that a particular play/musical is not available for production. Never assume that a play is available, you should always check with the play publishing house before you advertise or begin work on the production.
- Once you have determined that the play is not restricted, you will need to contact the publishing house in writing. Generally the following information is needed in order to provide a royalty quote## Play Title
- Place of performance (City, State & Theatre)?
- Producing organization?
- Seating capacity?
- Ticket prices?
- Not-for-profit or for-profit group?
- Number of performances?
- Performance dates?
- Equity (Actor’s Union) or non-Equity production?
- Once your letter is received, you will be sent a quote for the royalty fee and if acceptable, a contract may be sent. Some companies however will simply send an invoice.
- Be aware that for plays, the royalty fee covers the royalty only. Scripts are extra, however, plays may also be ordered directly from the publishing house.
- For musicals, the fees to produce a work are generally higher with a royalty fee, a rental fee (for scripts and scores) and a refundable security deposit.
Dramatist’s Play Service
Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatre Library
Samuel French, Inc.