The Money Issue


Vol. 25 No. 2

Cover of The Money Issue of The Dramatist

Theatre writers own their work. Know your rights before you sign a contract. 

 

There is no union for theatre writers. Under Federal law, playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists are considered property owners who license their work for use.

When a group of playwrights including George S. KaufmanMoss Hart, and Eugene O’Neill gathered to form the Dramatists Guild—the nation’s first and only trade association for American theatre writers—they held one ideal paramount: copyright

They believed that every author should maintain the legal rights to their own work. The intent was clear; in maintaining their own copyrights, authors could control the creative life of their material. They could choose their own producers, their own directors, and their own casts, and no changes could be lawfully made in production without their explicit consent.

The Dramatists Guild is committed to shepherding playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists through the business and legal standards of the industry. Have an unsigned contract you have questions about? Send it to us, and we’ll review it as part of your membership.

In order to protect a dramatist's unique vision, which has always been the strength of the theatre, you need to understand this single fundamental principle: you own and control your work. The Guild maintains a Bill of Rights to ensure ownership and control. You are not alone. You have over 100 years of standards and community behind you. 

 

EXPLORE BUSINESS AFFAIRS  

Cover DG Model Contract

Access live stream, Broadway, industry contracts, and best practices.

 

Negotiate with an understanding of what the standards are. Because the Guild tracks national and worldwide trends, we are able to provide model contracts that reflect up-to-date industry standards. We encourage playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists to use these models to educate themselves and use as a guide when entering into productions or collaborations.

In addition, to help theatre writers navigate new uses of their work, we offer a new model Livestream Addendum agreement to revise prior agreements to include such “digital rights.”

 

EXPLORE INDUSTRY CONTRACTS

Hand placing ballot in box
Jan 26, 2023

Vote in the 2023 DG Council Election by February 27!

Cover of The Money Issue
Jan 23, 2023

DG Presents The Money Issue of The Dramatist Magazine

statement against censorship
Jan 10, 2023

Joint Statement Condemning the Cancellation of "Indecent" at the Douglas Anderson School of Performing Arts

Career Training
Jan 09, 2023

January 2023 DG Career Training Events: Contests and Festivals, Email Marketing and Site Specific Productions

karl_hawkins
Jan 03, 2023

New Guild Staff: Introducing Karl Hawkins

Stay informed with Member News

Craig Lucas (Photo by Bronwen Sharp) and Heather Raffo (Photo by Marvin Joseph)
Jan 26, 2023

Submissions Open for Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Festival

Tony Kushner
Jan 24, 2023

Tony Kushner Among 2023 Oscar Nominees

Glen Ballard
Jan 19, 2023

Glen Ballard Among 2023 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees

Chisa Hutchinson. Photo by Seth Freeman.
Jan 18, 2023

The Signpost Fellowship

The O'Neill: Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
Jan 18, 2023

Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Accepting Applications for 2023 Young Playwrights Festival

Stay informed with The Dramatist
Resource Directory

Find the right submission opportunity to support your work in our Resource Directory.

 

Submitting your play or musical is as necessary as finishing it. But the process of finding the right submission opportunity is work. This is why, for more than 20 years, the Dramatists Guild has compiled a submissions and opportunities database, and published an online directory of theatres, agents, festivals, contests, workshops, retreats, and other submission opportunities to help make the life of the dramatist a little easier. Let the Dramatists Guild simplify and expedite your submission strategy with our database of deadlines and resources.
 

Black Theatre Fringe Festival of South Florida

January 27

Doreen Montalvo Scholarship

January 27

Old Lady Project

January 30

Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival

January 30

Fresh Fruit Festival

January 30

A is For's All It Takes Is One Act Festival

January 31

A is For Playwriting Contest

January 31

June Bingham New Playwright Commission

January 31

Young Playwrights Festival - Eugene O'Neill Theater

February 08

Live & In Color

February 15

 

Get the latest submissions deadlines.

Write. Edit. Format. All are equally important.

Formatting your script correctly can mean the difference between making it to the next round of a writing competition or having your work disregarded. While playwriting is more liberal with form, there are industry standards that every dramatist needs to know. The DG provides members with a database of the most commonly used script formats, completely free.
 

DOWNLOAD FORMATS

A full suite of career services to enrich, inspire, and empower writers.

 

Being a part of the DG community is more than just access to legal help. From perks like free theatre to money-saving deals on necessities like writing software, members of the DG gain access to a long and ever-growing list of benefits. Additionally, your Guild membership allows you to receive benefits from other industry organizations like The Actors Fund.
 

EXPLORE SERVICES & BENEFITS

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The Actors Fund

Founded in 1882, The Actors Fund is a national human services organization here to meet the needs of our entertainment community with a unique understanding of the challenges involved in a life in the arts.

Services include emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care, secondary career development and more. As a member of the Dramatists Guild, you have access to their services.

READ MORE

Playwrights Welcome

For dramatists, seeing shows is more than just entertainment; it’s a necessity. Writers gain inspiration and inimitable knowledge by attending live performances. However, the price of theatre can be expensive.

Through Playwrights Welcome, the DG seeks to remove financial barriers that may prohibit dramatists from seeing shows When theatres participate in Playwrights Welcome, they commit to offering otherwise unsold tickets to professional playwrights free of charge.

READ MORE

Devised Theatre

The Dramatists Guild is thrilled to extend our services and community to Devised Theatre professionals through the launch of our new Devised Theatre resources page.

We now offer four contract models explicitly designed for Devised Theatre, and a Devised Theatre Resource Manual, which includes an explanation of legal principles, discussions about craft, a glossary of terms, and much more. Our Business Affairs Help Desk is open for members who may have questions about our Devised Theatre resources.

READ MORE

We advance together. Explore and engage with a community of writers.

 

At its core, the Dramatists Guild is about building a community of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists who support each other at all levels of their professional careers. DG Community Resources are available for members to build bridges and create partnerships. Our website features ways to contact your regional rep, find a collaborator, and much much more.
 

SEARCH THE MEMBER DIRECTORY