The Dramatists Guild of America was established over eighty years ago, and is the only professional association which advances the interests of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists writing for the living stage. The Guild has over 6,000 members nationwide, from beginning writers to the most prominent authors represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theaters.
The Guild is governed by a Council elected from its membership, and which currently includes such writers as Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, Gypsy, Into the Woods), Edward Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Delicate Balance), Marsha Norman ('night, mother), Tony Kushner (Angels In America), John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation), Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel) and Rebecca Gilman (Spinning Into Butter). The current president of the Guild is Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell). Past presidents have included Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, Robert Sherwood, Robert Anderson, Frank Gilroy, and Peter Stone. Past Guild members have included Eugene O'Neill, George S. Kaufman, Arthur Miller, Lillian Hellman, Frank Loesser, Frederick Loewe, and Tennessee Williams.
The Dramatists Guild of America was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work. The Guild believes that a vibrant, vital and provocative theater is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society. The Guild believes that if such a theater is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of both men and women who write for it must be cultivated and protected.
To that end, the Guild maintains model contracts for all levels of productions, (including Broadway, regional and smaller theaters) and encourages its members to use these contracts when negotiating with producers. These contracts embody the Guild's overarching objectives of protecting the dramatist's control over the content of his work, and ensuring that the dramatist is compensated for each use of his work in a way which will encourage him to continue writing for the living stage.
In addition to its contract services, the Guild acts as an aggressive public advocate for dramatists' interests and assists dramatists in developing both their artistic and business skills through its publications, which are distributed nationally, and the educational programs which it sponsors around the country.
Through a variety of activities, the Dramatists Guild of America works to ensure that theater in America will continue to flourish and that the voices which give it life will continue to reflect and celebrate the richness and diversity of the American experience.
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