Member Newsroom

2021 DG Year In Review: 102 Years of Advocating for Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists, and Librettists

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.  In our 2021 Year in Review, we look back upon the past year's advocacy initiatives, legislative updates, institutional partnerships, DG statements, professional development events,...
Member Newsroom

New DG Best Practice: Model Billing Provision for Opera

The Dramatists Guild has observed that opera companies in the 21st century have been trying to grow their audiences and develop their art form beyond the presentation of revivals of the established canon of works. To do so, some companies are commissioning a wider array of contemporary playwrights to write original libretti for new operas.  Due to the ongoing efforts of the Guild, when playwrights have written the books for new stage musicals, they have been given authorial rights (...
Dramatist article

The Role of a Librettist

I've loved opera since I was in the sixth grade and our wacko nun brought in a phonograph and some Puccini love duets. I was hooked in about fifteen seconds. I’m sure it is opera that led me to writing plays, which accounts for my fondness for long speeches, duets, trios, and quarters—all spoken, of course. I never found it odd or...
Dramatist article

Composers on Composing Opera

LILA PALMER:  It’s such an honor to be here. I’m a librettist and opera consultant as well as Interim Managing Director of American Lyric Theater. My practice is based in empathy, optimism, and sharing concealed narratives. Today we are speaking with a very accomplished bunch of composers. Let’s start off with a small question which probably has a significant answer, but we’ll try and be succinct. Why opera? ...
Dramatist article

Librettists on Libretti

DEBORAH BREVOORT:  Today is a bit of a historical event. It’s the first ever webinar about opera sponsored by the Dramatists Guild, so thank you to the Guild for this. Today’s panel is composed entirely of librettists. To kick off our discussion, let me ask our panelists: why do you write opera? Sandra, what attracts you to the form? SANDRA SEATON:  Maybe I was attracted to the form before I knew I was attracted to it. When I was a little girl, my...
Dramatist article

So, You Want to Write An Opera?

Say that you are a playwright or a theatre composer or a lyricist or a crossover artist who wants to expand their range by creating work in an entirely new venue, reaching out to a new audience that may or may not be familiar with your previous works. Say that you have a story in mind with a larger statement and...
Dramatist article

The Golden Age (?) of Opera

many pundits in the opera world have christened the last two decades or so “The Golden Age of American Opera.” Of course, it’s usually centuries after the fact when pundits choose to alloy eras to exceptional periods of artistic history—and for all we know we may be living in “The Leaden Age of American Opera.”...
Dramatist article

From the Desk of Business Affairs: What’s In An Opera, Doc?

While Opera was the form that gave birth to the Broadway musical, the business of musical theatre writing has grown up since then. The documents that memorialize the rights of writers and the terms of their agreements are similar, but not the same. Since DG...
Dramatist article

Opera Resources

OPERA America Grants for Artists Opera Grants for Women Composers: Discovery Grants Supports women composers in the development of new operatic works and the advancement of their careers in the opera industry. ...