Theatre Production Guide: Getting Started
Dramatists Guild of America
1501 Broadway, Suite 701
New York, NY 10036
Launched 1912 as the Authors’ League of America, the Dramatists Guild of America now serves over 7,000 playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists.
It's members range from beginning writers to the most prominent authors represented on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theaters nationwide. The Guild exists to protect dramatist’s control over the content of their work, ensure dramatists are paid for the use of their work in a way that encourages them to continue to create.
The Guild supports its members in many ways by:
- Publishing model contracts address all levels of production
- Advocating for dramatists’ interests
- Developing members' artistic and business skills through classes and publications
A Guide to Copyrighting, Publishing, and Licensing Plays
By Jina Jang & Manasi Raveendran
Published by the ProBono Partnership, 2013
Free Download: probonopartner.org/publications/copyrighting-publishing-and-licensing-plays
Pro Bono Partnership provides legal assistance to nonprofit organizations.
This Guide discusses various legal and business considerations presented by the copyright, publication , and licensing of plays. Section I address es general copyright issues, providing brief explanations about different aspects of copyright as well as step-by-step instructions on registering a copyright. Section II addresses various issues related to publication of a play , including some key contract terms that an author should consider when entering into an agreement with a publishing house. Section III discusses licensing and royalties and provides, via an addendum, some sample licensing agreement language.
The site reminds visitors that this memorandum guide is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between the Pro Bono Partnership and any reader.
Doollee is an online database of playwrights and theatre plays. It aims to list every play written or produced in English since 1956, the year John Osborne's seminal play Look Back in Anger was first performed at the Royal Court in London. Currently lists over 55,000 playwrights and nearly 200,000 plays. Parts of site accessible after paying a daily or yearly fee.
As a general rule, if you are a playwright who has had at least one play published or produced in English since 1956 you are eligible for inclusion on the site. Doollee will then list the details of every other play you have written even if it is unpublished, unproduced, or was written before 1956. Go to site to download submission template to attach to your submission email.
Site updated daily.
National New Play Network
641 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Founded in 1998, the National New Play Network is the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays. As a collection of theaters working together across the nation, NNPN champions collaboration between theaters and theater-makers, and the vitality and cultural importance of new plays and living playwrights.
NNPN’s newest—and widest-reaching—project was launched in 2015. The New Play Exchange® (NPX) is now the world’s largest and smartest database of new plays, allowing robust search-and-filter functions, crowd-sourced recommendations of plays, and the connectivity of a social networking site. The NPX is used by more than 7,000 theater-makers and includes more than 15,000 plays by living writers.
In 1999, Performerscallboard began as a mailing list for children’s casting announcements. The following year, the scope expanded to adult actors and crew. Since then, over 10,000 cast and crew opportunities have been shared with PCB subscribers.
PerformersCALLBOARD is a email list that announces Casting Calls, Crew Calls, Performance/ Tech/ Administrative/ Intern/ Volunteer Opportunities and theater/film related positions. Our purpose is to send these opportunities directly to actors and crew and to promote performerscallboard.com.
Announcements include paid and unpaid opportunities in film, TV, theatre, dance, voiceover, promo, printwork, showcases, staged readings, extras casting, crew and more.
Actors and Crew — Join to receive announcements of opportunities in the areas of film, television, theatre and more. Subscribers receive cast and crew announcements through email. To request a Subscription Information Packet, send an email to: email@example.com
Filmmakers, Theatre and Production Companies, etc. — Post casting or crew call to this group of actors and crew in the Pacific Northwest. You do not have to be a subscriber to post an announcement Send cast and crew announcements to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Posting” in the subject.
Northwest Film Forum Callboard (NWFF)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle WA 98122
The mission of the Northwest Film Forum’s Callboard is to help films get made in Washington. If you are working on a film or video project in the Seattle or Washington State area, you can use the Callboard to look for grips, gaffers, screenwriters, editors, actors, graphic designers, sound recordists, composers, set builders, or anyone else you need—paid or unpaid. You can also post requests for locations and equipment. Before you begin, you must have a Google account and sign in. Also, please read the User’s Guide on the website.
The Callboard is hosted by Google Groups and supports these four primary activities: Post, Respond, Invite, and Search.
123 Boylston Avenue East, Suite A
Seattle, WA 98102
The SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local represents members working in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and the state of Washington.
SAG-AFTRA members can login for casting notices.
Casting Announcements: seattleactor.com/news/modules.php?name=ANews
Anyone can announce an audition on SeattleActor.com. SeattleActor.com also provides relevant industry reviews and news articles. Submit audition online with this link.
Theatre Puget Sound (TPS)
P.O. Box 19643
Seattle, WA. 98109
Theatre Puget Sound members and non-members can announce auditions through the TPS audition callboard and list-serv. Posting an audition is free and membership is not required. TPS Membership is required to view complete audition listings.
TPS also hosts general, regional auditions every year in either January or February. Members and non-members are welcome to be auditors at this event.
Portland Area Theatre
1507 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205
General auditions: portlandtheatre.com/page-18091
Producers, theatre and film companies as well as individual artists must be PATA members to announce auditions. PATA also produces General Auditions for the Portland theatre community.
Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
440 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
General Inquiries: email@example.com
Nonprofessional Licensing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Licensing: email@example.com
Founded in 1936, Dramatists Play Service, Inc. is one of the premier play-licensing and theatrical publishing agencies in the world. DPS fosters national opportunities for playwrights by publishing affordable editions of their plays and handling the performance rights.
Rain City Projects
137 North 84th Street
Seattle, WA 98103
Rain City Projects supports Northwest playwrights and their work. It develops projects that raise playwrights' profiles in the theatre community and builds relationships between artists and producers.
With publications, grants, and community events like brunches, salons, readings, and networking events for writers and directions, RCP builds a robust Seattle playwrights community.
Samuel French, Inc.
235 Park Avenue South, Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10003
Licensing. Producing a play with a current copyright published by Samuel French requires a license. Follow the link for more information on that process.
Samuel French notes that "Any performance of a work under copyright for an audience must be licensed," and "Licensing your shows ensures that playwrights and composers are being fairly compensated for the use of their work."
Submissions. Samuel French, Inc. is currently not accepting unsolicited submissions. Please continue checking back for updates regarding their submission process. Currently, Samuel French buys publication rights after successful productions in New York City or a major regional theatre.
Samuel French suggests consulting The Dramatists Guild of America for information on production opportunities before pursuing publication if your work has not been produced at the national or regional level yet.
UK and USA
Based in the UK and the USA, Stageplays offers a large searchable database of plays & musicals. These are available for purchase (hardcopy and download). Claims to be able to deliver any play in print.
Over the tag line "We move new plays forward," Umbrella Project develops and advocates for diverse new theatrical work through radical dramaturgical support.
UP describes radical dramaturgical support as as different than the standard dramatugy of research, structure analysis, education, and support for actors and directors. It includes all of the standard roles of dramatugy while bringing an inclusive, holistic approach to the process of developing new theatrical work.
Use one of the many online databases, read reviews, and see a lot of works in development.