Business Affairs

Model Contracts

No contract is “one size fits all!”

Because the Guild tracks national and worldwide trends, we are able to provide certain model contracts that reflect up-to-date industry standards. We encourage our members to use these models to educate themselves and use as a guide when entering into productions or collaborations.

Most of our contracts are available to download as PDF files. The first-class Approved Production Contract for Plays and Approved Production Contract for Musicals (APC) must be purchased and are available in a printed booklet. Please note that members must pay additional dues (i.e., “assessments”) based on the members’ royalties earned from productions presented under the APC. For more about assessments, please visit the Assessments information page.

Only current members of the Guild may view, download, or request sample contracts.

NEW! DEVISED THEATRE CONTRACTS

  • DEVISED THEATRE AGREEMENTS & MANUAL
    Four contract models designed specifically for devised theater. Accompanying the contract models is an innovative Devised Theater Resource Manual, which includes, among other things, an explanation of legal principles, discussions about craft, and a glossary of terms.

PRODUCTION CONTRACTS

  • FORM OF LICENSING AGREEMENT
    A basic license, it grants the rights for a producer to produce a production without granting the subsidiary rights and future options that might go along with a premiere. This contract is short, straightforward and not intimidating, and it is especially useful when an author and producer are looking to enter into a very simple agreement, especially for amateur and school/university productions.
  • APPROVED PRODUCTION CONTRACT FOR MUSICALS
    Form contract for Broadway/First Class musical productions. Requires Guild certification. The Executive or Associate Director must approve all requests for APCs before they can be released. Please email Kristin Kapinos at kkapinos@dramatistsguild.com for more information.
  • APPROVED PRODUCTION CONTRACT FOR PLAYS
    Form contract for Broadway/First Class straight plays. Requires Guild certification. The Executive or Associate Director must approve all requests for APCs before they can be released. Please email Kristin Kapinos at kkapinos@dramatistsguild.com for more information.
  • PREMIERE PRODUCTION CONTRACT – NY/LA
    Form of small theatre contract for theatres presenting professional, premiere productions in the New York or Los Angeles areas. This agreement is not intended to be used at the LORT, Off-Broadway or Broadway levels.
  • PREMIERE PRODUCTION CONTRACT – NATIONAL
    Form of small theatre contract for theatres presenting professional, premiere productions. This agreement is not intended to be used at the LORT, Off-Broadway or Broadway levels.
  • OBC – OFF-BROADWAY CONTRACT
    Form contract for Off-Broadway play or musical productions.

UNDERLYING RIGHTS AGREEMENTS

  • FORM OF UNDERLYING RIGHTS FOR MUSICALS
    Form of an option agreement used for an author to obtain the basic right to adapt a work as a musical from an existing work in which a second author holds copyright. This form only deals with the acquisition of the option to adapt a copyrighted work and hold a staged reading. It does not guarantee the right to stage an actual production beyond the initial presentation.
  • FORM OF UNDERLYING RIGHTS FOR PLAYS
    Form of an option agreement used for an author to obtain the basic right to adapt a work as a straight play from an existing work in which a second author holds copyright. This form only deals with the acquisition of the option to adapt a copyrighted work and hold a staged reading. It does not guarantee the right to stage an actual production beyond the initial presentation.

COMMISSION AGREEMENT

  • FORM OF COMMISSION AGREEMENT (PLAYS/MUSICALS)
    Agreement between a commissioning producer and author(s) to write and revise a script. The author(s) retain(s) the sole ownership of the play and maintain(s) control over additions, changes, and modifications. This agreement covers only the writing of a new piece and the producer’s right to acquire the option to produce the work. It does not cover the production of the work’s premiere, for which a separate contract must be entered into.

COLLABORATION AGREEMENTS

  • FORM OF COLLABORATION AGREEMENT FOR MUSICALS
    Form agreement for collaboration between authors writing a musical. It is in the best interest of parties to enter into a collaboration agreement early in the creative process, to avoid potential difficulties that could arise at a later time.
  • FORM OF COLLABORATION AGREEMENT FOR PLAYS
    Form agreement for collaboration between authors writing a straight play. It is in the best interest of parties to enter into a collaboration agreement early in the creative process, to avoid potential difficulties that could arise at a later time.