The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theatre writers including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists.
The Guild was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work.
We believe that a vibrant, vital, and provocative theatre is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society; and that if such a theatre is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of the men, women, trans and non-binary artists who write for it must be cultivated and protected.
Dramatists are viewed by the law as property owners who license the use of their property, rather than employees entitled to collectively bargain for the conditions of their labor. To that end, we maintain model contracts for all levels of productions (including Broadway, regional, and smaller theatres) and encourage our 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 their work, ensuring that the dramatist is compensated for each use of their work in a way that will encourage them to continue writing for the living stage.
In addition to our 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 our publications, which are distributed nationally, and educational programs, which we sponsor around the country.
Visit "Where is Our Union?" for more information on the differences between a trade association and a union.