How do I apply for performance rights?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive DirectorProfessional or Nonprofessional Rights
For professional or nonprofessional performance rights, there are three easy steps:
- Review the Restrictions page to ensure that your intended production will not conflict with a restriction.
- Review the Payments page to familiarize yourself with a) the Advance Payment and b) the summary Box Office Statement submission requirement.
- Apply for the rights on the Performance Rights page.
For competition performance rights, proceed directly to the Performance Rights page to complete and submit your application.
For touring rights for three venues or more, proceed directly to the special Tour Application.
How long will it take to receive a performance license?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive Director
Provided there are no restrictions on the title in your area, and the venue is not located in New York City or Los Angeles, or a country other than the United States or Canada, you can expect to receive a professional or nonprofessional performance license and invoice by email immediately following your application.
If the venue is located in New York City or Los Angeles, or outside of North America, special permissions may need to be secured, which can take additional time. In most cases, you can expect to receive notice on whether your intended production is approved within two weeks.
All competition applicants receive performance licenses immediately following application.
How do I apply for performance rights for more than two one-act plays or for multiple short plays?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive DirectorGenerally, the minimum professional per performance fee for one-act plays is $100, and the minimum nonprofessional is $75. If, however, you would like to secure a performance license for an evening that includes more than two one-act plays or multiple short plays, such as 10-minute plays, please Contact Us in advance before applying for a license. In many cases, more than two one-act plays or multiple short plays in an evening will be eligible for a custom Advance fee. So let us know what your plans are, and we'll provide you with a custom Advance fee and instruct you how to submit your application for the rights so that the custom fee will be applied to your order.
What if we would like to perform just one scene from a play?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive DirectorFor competitions, it's allowable to perform just one scene from a play. Submit a standard competition application through the Performance Rights form. To perform a single scene under other circumstances, Contact Us for more information.
How are payments calculated?Please review the Payments page, which includes professional and nonprofessional Advance Payment Calculators to estimate costs.
Are Advance Payments refundable?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive DirectorProfessional
For professionals, Advance Payments are nonrefundable because professional restrictions require that we deny requests for performance licenses while a restriction is in place, resulting in lost revenue opportunities for the author. The Advance Payment therefore serves as a hedge for the author against those potential losses. If, however, there are special circumstances with your production, feel encouraged to let us know, and we will take them into consideration. In addition, performances cancelled due to illness, extreme weather conditions, or other force majeure events or circumstances beyond your control are refundable. Contact Us to request a refund.
For nonprofessionals, Advance Payments are fully or partially refundable only if requested prior to any performances. If, however, there are special circumstances with your production, feel encouraged to let us know, and we will take them into consideration. In addition, performances cancelled due to illness, extreme weather conditions, or other force majeure events or circumstances beyond your control are refundable. Contact Us to request a refund.
Is a payment plan available for a large Advance Payment?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive DirectorIf your Advance Payment is greater than or equal to $5,000, we can implement a payment plan upon your request. The standard payment plan requires half of the Advance be paid within 30 days of the order being placed with the balance due 30 days prior to the opening date. If the standard payment plan does not work for you, let us know, and we'll try to accommodate. To request a payment plan, after you've submitted your order using either check, bank transfer, or purchase order as the payment method, Contact Us.
What is the definition of “gross box office”?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive DirectorGross Box Office Revenue ("GBOR") is defined as any and all receipts from all sources whatsoever for the sale or distribution of tickets for performances of the play(s), excluding only the following allowable deductions:
- Documented federal, state, and local taxes that are imposed upon the admission;
- Documented credit card (AmEx, Visa, MC, etc.) fees and discounts taken from the in-house sales of the theater (not to exceed 5%);
- Documented fees and discounts paid in connection with the theater's in-house subscriptions: if tickets for the play(s) are sold on a subscription basis (for which the producer receives less than the full price that would be received if the ticket were sold at the box office), GBOR for the play(s) shall be calculated by multiplying the number of subscription tickets sold for the play(s) by the full price of the ticket (calculated using the undiscounted box-office price), and then subtracting any discounts received by subscribers for such tickets;
- Documented fees and discounts paid in connection with the theater's group sales (not to exceed 10% of the price of the ticket);
- Documented fees and discounts paid in connection with third-party off-site internet sales (e.g., Groupon, Goldstar) (not to exceed 10% of the price of the ticket);
- Documented federal, state, and local government mandated restoration or historic preservation fees (not to exceed any cap then pertaining that may have been imposed on such fees by any theatrical union);
- Documented Ticketmaster and similar fees on a per ticket basis; and
- Documented sums that are subsequently refunded or uncollectible due to dishonored checks, invalidated credit card receipts, or for any other such similar reason.
Are we a professional or nonprofessional theater?Michael Q Fellmeth, Executive Director
If your theater or organization meets any of the following criteria, you are considered professional for the purposes of performance-rights licensing:
- Any of your actors is a member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA) being paid greater than or equal to minimum scale.
- Any of your actors, AEA member or otherwise, is paid greater than or equal to $350 per week.
- Your director is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) being paid greater than or equal to minimum scale.
- Your director, SDC member or otherwise, is being paid greater than or equal to $350 per week.
- Any tickets are sold for $35 or more.