Yes! Under Copyright Law it is essential that you get written permission for any public performance of a play. This includes free performances and applies even if you only wish to perform a short scene or extract from the play. Please remember that not only is this a legal obligation, but it is through royalties that playwrights make their living.
DO I NEED PERMISSION TO PUT ON A PLAY?
ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS
Yes, in the following circumstances:
1. Works out of copyright
Permission is not required if copyright on the play has expired. In most cases copyright lasts from the time of creation for the life of the creator plus 70 years. If you are not sure whether copyright on a play has expired it is best to check before planning your production.
2. Classroom performance
Dramatic works can be read aloud or performed in class without seeking permission, so long as the audience is limited to those taking part in the instruction i.e. staff and students only. However permission must be given for school performances outside the classroom, including to families and friends.
3. How do I get permission to put on a play?
In most cases you should contact the author’s agent to check that the performing rights are available. Information about who handles the performing rights for a play can be found on each product page on the Currency website, or on the imprint page of the published book. If you need further information, or no agent details are listed, then contact Currency Press.
NOTE: You should apply for performance rights at least three months prior to your proposed production and be aware that the rights may not be available.
PERFORMANCE RIGHTS APPLICATION FORM
Contact the author’s agent for performance rights enquiries. If the agent listed is Currency Press, please fill out the following form, making sure to include information about:
- Title and author of play to be performed
- Name of venue, production company and director
- Your contact details: name, email, phone
- Your mailing address
- Dates of first performance and final performance
- Total number of performances
- Venue seating capacity
- Ticket prices (full/concession)
- Any other relevant information